Henry John Peters was an American professional baseball executive who held senior management positions for the Kansas City Athletics, Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball between 1965 and 1991. During his dozen years as general manager of the Orioles, Baltimore won two American League pennants and the 1983 World Series championship. Peters was named The Sporting News Executive of the Year after both pennant-winning seasons. In addition, as president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Peters was the chief executive of minor league baseball and helped it survive one of the worst crises in its history; the native of St. Louis, spent more than 40 years in organized baseball. Peters served in the United States Army during World War II in the European Theater of Operations. After the war, he joined the St. Louis Browns after answering a newspaper advertisement, worked his way into their scouting department; when the Browns left St. Louis for Baltimore after the 1953 season, Peters stayed in the Midwest.
He spent 1954 as general manager of the Burlington Bees of the Class B Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League joined the front office of the Kansas City Athletics, newly transplanted from Philadelphia, in 1955. By 1960, Peters was in charge of the Athletics' minor league system. In the autumn of that year, Charlie Finley bought the team, Peters became farm system director of the Cincinnati Reds, but after one season in Cincinnati, Peters returned to the Athletics and Finley, where he would work for the tempestuous owner for four full seasons and hold the title of general manager during the 1965 campaign. Kansas City finished last in 1965, but it possessed at the big-league level and in its farm system a core of players that—after the franchise moved to Oakland in 1968—would help the A's win three consecutive world championships from 1972–74. After leaving Finley and the Athletics, Peters joined the Indians as director of player personnel and assistant general manager working under Gabe Paul from 1966–71, but the Indians had only one successful season during that six-year time frame.
He served as the sixth president in the history of the National Association, the umbrella group that governs the minor leagues, during a critical period. The minors had been suffering from over 20 years of plunging attendance and decline, were in danger of extinction; the short-season Northern League folded after the 1971 season, other circuits like the Class A Carolina and Western Carolinas leagues, the short-season Northwest League and the Rookie-level Pioneer League operating with the bare minimum of four teams, were in danger of collapse. "We had so many leagues that were in danger of going out of business," Peters said. His response was to encourage the creation of "co-op" teams that received players from multiple MLB clubs to keep the struggling leagues afloat. "I spent a lot of my time trying to convince Major League Baseball that they needed these leagues. I’m proud that we were able to create clubs, getting two or three players from this team and a few from another team and so on, so that we could put together an unaffiliated team and each league could have at least four teams.
Some of those leagues that were in trouble are now strong and prosperous." After Frank Cashen's resignation in 1975, the Orioles—Peters' original organization—were in need of a new general manager. Peters accepted the challenge, taking the reins in Baltimore as baseball free agency was made possible by an arbitrator's ruling dismantling the reserve clause. In his maiden season, 1976, Peters acted decisively with a flurry of trades with the Athletics and New York Yankees. Although one of his acquisitions, Reggie Jackson, played only one year as an Oriole before becoming a free agent himself, Peters obtained future 18-game-winner Rudy May and three cornerstones of the Orioles' 1979 and 1983 pennant-winning teams: pitchers Scott McGregor and Tippy Martinez, catcher Rick Dempsey; the Baltimore farm system would produce Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken, Jr. future Baseball Hall of Famers, ace starting pitcher Mike Boddicker during Peters' tenure. But following the 1983 world championship, the Orioles went into decline, after enduring their first back-to-back losing seasons in 1986–87 in 30 years, Peters was fired on October 5, 1987.
Less than a month on November 2, 1987, he returned to the Indians as their president and chief operating officer. Although the Indians never compiled a winning record during Peters' four full years in the job, he lay the foundation for the strong Cleveland teams of the 1990s, signing youngsters Jim Thome, Manny Ramírez and Charles Nagy, trading for Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Carlos Baerga. He brought John Hart from Baltimore to the Indians' organization. Peters was married to the former Dorothy Kleimeier, with whom he had a daughter and a son, until her death in 2010, he died of complications from a stroke in Boca Raton, Florida on January 4, 2015, aged 90
Mike Chernoff (baseball)
Michael Chernoff is an American baseball executive who serves as the general manager of the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball. Chernoff was born to an American Jewish family and raised in Livingston, New Jersey, his father, Mark Chernoff, is the Vice President of programming for CBS Radio in New York. He was bar mitzvah at the Reform Temple Emanu-El of West Essex in Livingston, New Jersey, since moving to Cleveland he and his family have attended the Reform Temple Tifereth-Israel in Beachwood, Ohio, he attended the Pingry School in New Jersey. He attended Princeton University, he remained with the team. He served as the director of baseball relations, was promoted to assistant general manager in Cleveland in October 2010. In 2014, he declined an opportunity to interview for the general manager position with the San Diego Padres. After the 2015 season, the Indians promoted Chris Antonetti from general manager to president of baseball operations, Chernoff to general manager, he and his wife, have two sons
Henry Benjamin Greenberg, nicknamed "Hammerin' Hank", "Hankus Pankus", or "The Hebrew Hammer", was an American professional baseball player and team executive. He played in Major League Baseball for the Detroit Tigers as a first baseman in the 1930s and 1940s. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and a two-time Most Valuable Player Award winner, he was one of the premier power hitters of his generation and is considered as one of the greatest sluggers in baseball history, he had 47 months of military service including service in World War II, all of which took place during his major league career. Greenberg played the first twelve of his thirteen major league seasons for Detroit, he was an American League All-Star for four seasons and an AL MVP in 1935 and 1940. He had a batting average over.300 in eight seasons, won two World Series championships with the Tigers. He was the AL home run leader four times and his 58 home runs for the Tigers in 1938 equaled Jimmie Foxx's 1932 mark for the most in one season by anyone but Babe Ruth, tied Foxx for the most home runs between Ruth's record 60 in 1927 and Roger Maris' record 61 in 1961.
Greenberg was the first major league player to hit 25 or more home runs in a season in each league, remains the AL record-holder for most runs batted in in a single season by a right-handed batter. In 1947, Greenberg signed a contract for a record $85,000 salary before being sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he played his final MLB season that year. After retiring from playing, Greenberg continued to work in baseball as a team executive for the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. Greenberg was the first Jewish superstar in American team sports, he attracted national attention in 1934 when he refused to play on Yom Kippur, the holiest holiday in Judaism though he was not observant religiously and the Tigers were in the middle of a pennant race. He was one of the few opposing players to publicly welcome African-American player Jackie Robinson to the major leagues in 1947. Hank Greenberg was born Hyman Greenberg on January 1, 1911, in Greenwich Village, New York City, to Romanian-born Jewish immigrant parents David and Sarah Greenberg, who owned a successful cloth-shrinking plant in New York.
He had two brothers, four years older, Joe, five years younger, who played baseball, a sister, two years older. His family moved to the Bronx, he attended James Monroe High School in the Bronx, where he was an outstanding all-around athlete and was bestowed with the long-standing nickname of "Bruggy" by his basketball coach. His preferred sport was baseball, his preferred position was first base. In high school basketball, he was on the Monroe team. In 1929, the 18-year-old 6-foot-4-inch Greenberg was recruited by the New York Yankees, who had Lou Gehrig at first base. Greenberg turned them down and instead attended New York University for a year, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu, after which he signed with the Detroit Tigers for $9,000. Greenberg played minor league baseball for three years. Greenberg played 17 games in 1930 for the Hartford Senators played at Raleigh, North Carolina, for the Raleigh Capitals, where he hit.314 with 19 home runs. In 1931, he played at Evansville for the Evansville Hubs in the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League.
In 1932, at Beaumont for the Beaumont Exporters in the Texas League, he hit 39 homers with 131 RBIs, won the MVP award, led Beaumont to the Texas League title. When he broke into the major leagues in 1930, Greenberg was the youngest MLB player. In 1933, he hit.301 while driving in 87 runs. At the same time, he was third in the league in strikeouts. See note in Footnotes section below. In 1934, his second major-league season, he hit.339 and helped the Tigers reach their first World Series in 25 years. He led the league in doubles, with 63, extra base hits, he was third in the AL in slugging percentage – behind Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig, but ahead of Babe Ruth, in RBIs, sixth in batting average, seventh in home runs, ninth in on-base percentage. Late in the 1934 season, he announced that he would not play on September 10, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, or on September 19, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Fans grumbled, "Rosh Hashanah comes every year but the Tigers haven't won the pennant since 1909."
Greenberg did considerable soul-searching, discussed the matter with his rabbi. Greenberg hit two home runs in a 2–1 Tigers victory over Boston on Rosh Hashanah; the next day's Detroit Free Press ran the Hebrew lettering for "Happy New Year" across its front page. Columnist and poet Edgar A. Guest expressed the general opinion in a poem titled "Speaking of Greenberg", in which he used the Irish names Murphy and Mulroney; the poem ends with the lines "We shall miss him on the infield and shall miss him at the bat / But he's true to his religion—and I honor him for that." The complete text of the poem is at the end of Greenberg's biography page at the website of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. The Detroit press was not so kind regarding the Yom Kippur decision, nor were many fans, but Greenberg in his autobiography recalled that he received a standing ovation from congregants at the Shaarey Zedek synagogue when he arrived. Absent Greenberg, the Tigers lost to the
Charles W. Somers was an American executive in Cleveland, Ohio's coal industry who achieved prominence in Major League Baseball; the financial resources from his business interests allowed Somers to become one of the principal founders of baseball's American League in 1901. At the insistence of league president Ban Johnson and Jack Kilfoyl, who owned a popular Cleveland men's furnishings store, became the first owners of the Cleveland franchise. Kilfoyl was Cleveland's first team president and treasurer, while Somers was its vice president and main financier. Somers was the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, a team which had no official nickname until 1908, but was sometimes called the "Somersets" in his honor. Residing in Cleveland and traveling to Boston, Somers was the American League's vice-president during the trade war for independence of and equality with the National League, won in 1903 with the playing of the first World Series. Somers' money helped keep some American League teams afloat in their first years, including the St. Louis Browns, Charles Comiskey's Chicago White Sox and Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics.
Somers sold his interest in the Boston club in 1903 to Henry Killilea. In 1910 Kilfoyl sold his interest in Cleveland to Somers. Somers invested in one of the first baseball minor league farm systems controlling teams in Toledo, Ohio. Facing pressure from the newly formed Federal League, in 1914 Somers transferred his Toledo Mud Hens to Cleveland to share League Park; this was done to keep the Federals out of Cleveland by ensuring there was a ball game in Cleveland every day of the season. In 1915 the American League team called the Cleveland Naps in reference to player/manager Nap Lajoie, was renamed the Cleveland Indians. Although Somers had kept the Fed at bay, the new league still had its influence, forcing salaries higher. This, combined with poor attendance at League Park, along with other investments that did not work out, put Somers in a precarious financial position. In 1916, although the Fed had disbanded, it was too late to save Somers financially, he went broke with debts exceeding assets of $1.75 million, at the insistence of his bank creditors, sold the Indians for $500,000 to a syndicate headed by Jim Dunn.
The creditors did allow him to retain ownership of the Pelicans for sentimental reasons. The Mud Hens returned to Toledo in 1916. After selling the Indians he rebuilt his business investments. At his death in 1934 his estate was worth $3 million. Somers was married twice, he had Dorothy from his first marriage. His second wife, Mary Alice Gilbert, survived him. Somers died at Ohio. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: Somers, Charles W. at ech.case.edu Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, last retrieved on June 26, 2008
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or the American League, is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which aspired to major league status, it is sometimes called the Junior Circuit because it claimed Major League status for the 1901 season, 25 years after the formation of the National League. At the end of every season, the American League champion plays in the World Series against the National League champion. Through 2018, American League teams have won 66 of the 114 World Series played since 1903, with 27 of those coming from the New York Yankees alone; the New York Yankees have won 40 American League titles, the most in the league's history, followed by the Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics and the Boston Red Sox. A minor league known as the Western League which existed 1885 to 1899, with teams in Great Lakes states, the newly organized Western League developed into a rival major league after the previous American Association disbanded after ten seasons as a competitor to the older National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, founded in 1876.
In its early history of the late 1880s, the minor Western League struggled until 1894, when Ban Johnson became the president of the league. Johnson led the Western League into elevation as claiming major league status and soon became the president of the newly renamed American League of Professional Baseball Clubs in 1901; the American League was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the former Republican Hotel by five Irishmen. George Herman Ruth, noted as one of the most prolific hitters in Major League Baseball history, spent the majority of his career in the American League with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees; the American League has one notable difference versus the rival National League, in that in modern times since 1973 it has had the designated hitter rule. Under the rule, a team may use a batter in its lineup, not in the field defensively, replacing the pitcher in the batting order, compared to the old rule that made it mandatory for the pitcher to bat. In the last two decades, the season schedule has allowed occasional interleague play.
Until the late 1970s, league umpires working behind home plate wore large, balloon-style chest protectors worn outside the shirt or coat, while their brethren in the National League wore chest protectors inside the shirt or coat. In 1977, new umpires had to wear the inside chest protector, although those on staff wearing the outside protector could continue to do so. Most umpires made the switch to the inside protector, led by Don Denkinger in 1975 and Jim Evans the next year, although several did not, including Bill Haller, Lou DiMuro, George Maloney, Jerry Neudecker, who became the last MLB umpire to use the outside protector in 1985. In 1994, the league, along with the National League, reorganized again, into three divisions and added a third round to the playoffs in the form of the American League Division Series, with the best second-place team advancing to the playoffs as a wild-card team, in addition to the three divisional champions. In 1998, the newly franchised Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined the league, the Arizona Diamondbacks joined the National League: i.e. each league each added a fifteenth team.
An odd number of teams per league meant that at least one team in each league would have to be idle on any given day, or alternatively that odd team out would have had to play an interleague game against its counterpart in the other league. The initial plan was to have three five-team divisions per league with inter league play year-round—possibly as many as 30 interleague games per team each year. For various reasons, it soon seemed more practical to have an number of teams in both leagues; the Milwaukee Brewers agreed moving from the AL Central to the NL Central. At the same time, the Detroit Tigers were moved from the AL East to the AL Central, making room for the Devil Rays in the East. Following the move of the Houston Astros, in the NL for 51 years since beginning as an expansion team in 1962, to the American League in 2013, both leagues now consist of 15 teams, a far cry from their original 8 for the first half-century of the 20th century. For the first 96 years, American League teams faced their National League counterparts only in exhibition games or in the World Series.
Beginning in 1997, interleague games have been played during the regular season and count in the standings. As part of the agreement instituting interleague play, the designated-hitter rule is used only in games where the American League team is the home team. There were eight charter teams in 1901, the league's first year as a major league, the next year the original Milwaukee Brewers moved to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns; these franchises constituted the league for 52 seasons, until the Browns moved to Baltimore and took up the name Baltimore Orioles. All eight original franchises remain in the American League, although only four remain in the original cities; the eight original teams and their counterparts in the "Classic Eight" were: original Baltimore Orioles (went b
Frank C. Lane was an American executive in professional baseball, most notably serving as a general manager in Major League Baseball for the Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers. Born in Cincinnati, Lane's first involvement with professional sports came in American football, where he played guard for a number of "Ohio League" teams prior to the creation of the National Football League. After his attempt at playing professional baseball fell short, Lane shifted to officiating, serving as a referee in both football and basketball. In 1933 he was named as traveling secretary for the Cincinnati Reds, while continuing to spend his offseasons as an official. After spending one season as general manager of the team's Durham, North Carolina minor league club, Lane was elevated to assistant general manager for the Reds under Warren Giles on November 17, 1936. After the U. S. entered World War II, Lane joined the Navy and spent the next four years in the service before returning in 1946 as general manager of the Kansas City Blues, a top farm club of the New York Yankees.
One year in that position led to a two-year stretch as president of the minor league American Association. Lane resigned that post in 1948 to become general manager of the White Sox. Over the next seven years, he would shape the team into a contender after nearly two decades of mediocrity. In seven years with the White Sox, he made 241 trades. After resigning in September 1955, Lane found work again in St. Louis. In May 1956, he traded Bill Virdon, who won the National League Rookie of the Year Award the previous season, to the Pirates for Bobby Del Greco and Dick Littlefield. Lane referred to the trade as "the worst trade made"; as General Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, he tried to trade popular superstar hitter Stan Musial to the Philadelphia Phillies for star pitcher Robin Roberts; when news of the proposed transaction was leaked to the radio, Cardinals' owner August Busch stopped the deal. Lane moved on to Cleveland in November 1957. While in Cleveland, Lane gained infamy by trading popular star slugger Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers for excellent hitter Harvey Kuenn, resulting in the so-called "Curse of Colavito."
He left Cleveland in January 1961 for an executive position with the Kansas City Athletics, but the combination of Lane and volatile owner Charlie Finley led to an early end to his employment just eight months later. The lingering feud between the two over compensation would result in a lawsuit that took over three years to settle. Due to his uncertain contract status Lane was forced out of baseball during this period, but found employment on May 7, 1962 as general manager of the National Basketball Association's Chicago Zephyrs. On January 8, 1965, Lane settled his lawsuit with Finley, accepting $113,000 plus the freedom to take another baseball front-office position. Early reports of his being part of an ownership group to buy the Boston Red Sox, as well as serving as president of the Texas League, proved to be unfounded. Instead, the Baltimore Orioles hired him as a special assistant to general manager Lee MacPhail on March 7, serving as a scout, a post he would hold for nearly six years.
Shortly before his 75th birthday, Lane was hired as general manager for the Milwaukee Brewers. Following that stint, he ended his career as a scout for both the California Angels and Texas Rangers. Lane would gain fame for his many transactions, earning nicknames such as "Trader Frank", "Frantic Frank", "Trader Lane" and "The Wheeler Dealer" for the more than 400 trades he made in his career, including 241 with the White Sox alone. Lane traded star players, such as Norm Cash, Rocky Colavito and Roger Maris, as well as future Hall of Famers Enos Slaughter, Red Schoendienst and Early Wynn, yet players were not the only people involved in Lane's transactions – in 1960, during his tenure with the Indians, he dealt manager Joe Gordon in exchange for Detroit Tigers skipper Jimmy Dykes. He died in a Texas nursing home at 85 years of age. In Bobby Bragan's book You Can't Hit the Ball With the Bat On Your Shoulder, Bragan wrote that he was asked by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn's office to represent Major League Baseball at the funeral.
He was the lone baseball official to attend. Frank Lane at Find a Grave