"And now, at 41, they're looking for your keys and inviting you to leave the room so some 27-, 28-, 30-year-old comes in," Schuerholz said. "But I was so blessed to be in organizations that were well structured, had great leadership at the ownership level, and believed and trusted in the plan that I had and supported it more than anything."
His Kansas City team won the World Series in 1985, but Schuerholz was better known for his part in building a perennial National League power in Atlanta. He became Braves GM in 1991, and in his 16 years in the post, he turned around a long-struggling Atlanta franchise that did not have a large payroll. The Braves won 14 straight division titles from 1991 to 2005, six NL pennants and the World Series in 1995. Schuerholz won the Executive of the Year award twice, in 1985 and 1991. Schuerholz later served as team president and is currently Atlanta's vice chairman.
Schuerholz also donated $250,000 to Towson University; the school's baseball facility is named in honor of Schuerholz's father.
Schuerholz will be the fifth member of his iconic Braves teams to enter the Hall of Fame, joining manager Bobby Cox and pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, but he said he always will remember his unlikely start in Baltimore.
"I always had aspirations in whatever I was doing," Schuerholz said. As a teacher, "I wanted to be the best, and I tried to prepare myself to do that, and when my chance came to get into baseball with the Baltimore Orioles in 1966, I knew that I had to work hard and keep my eyes and ears open and learn from people and have a work ethic that was appropriately required and expected. And I did that. I had a natural, I guess you could say … capability or human quality that I got along with people well and I communicated with people honestly and forthrightly, and they knew where I stood and how I felt and what we needed."