The Atlanta Braves announced today that they have hired John Hart as a new senior advisor for baseball operations. I first learned this from a tweet by the Atlanta Braves’ official Twitter account…
The #Braves have hired John Hart as Senior Advisor, Baseball Operations.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 22, 2013
Obviously we don’t know what vision if any that Hart will bring to the Braves, or any changes he might be called upon to give advice about, but his wealth of knowledge and experience certainly make me optimistic. Hart occasionally works as an analyst for the MLB Network as well, and will continue to do that as he has time.
Hart played baseball for Seminole Junior College, and as a catcher earned All-American honors before going on to play with the Montreal Expos for three seasons. While Hart’s career as a player didn’t last that long, his career in baseball was just beginning. After his playing days were over, Hart coached high school baseball in Orlando, Florida and then later joined the Baltimore Orioles organization in 1982 as a minor league manager where he coached for six years before moving up to be the Orioles 3rd base coach in 1988.
In 1989, Hart went on to join the Cleveland Indians as a special assignment scout, and then quickly moved up to the position of Director of Baseball Operations for the Indians, and then soon after became the General Manager and Executive Vice President for the Indians. Under Hart’s leadership, the Indians did well, winning six of seven AL Central League division titles, and appearances in the 95 and 97 World Series.
In 2001 however, Hart left the Indians for a position as General Manager of the Texas Rangers. While his stint as a GM for the Rangers didn’t last too long, the Rangers desire to retain his services as a Senior Advisor made him a valuable asset to the Rangers.
Braves executive John Schuerholz has been a long-time friend of John Hart, so it’s not surprising that Hart would join the Atlanta Braves now that his contract with the Rangers has expired. As I noted earlier, Hart has a great deal of baseball experience. He was an All American as a player, Appalachian League Manager of the Year in 1982, International League Manager of the year in 1986. and Sporting News Major League Executive of the Year in 1994 and 1995.
If you have read much of my writing, you know that I often take issue with some of the decisions made by Frank Wren and John Schuerholz. My hope is that John Hart might bring a different perspective and viewpoint, and perhaps a fresh direction for the future of the Atlanta Braves.
I have often said a new perspective and fresh approach is sorely needed in Atlanta, where the team always seems to be a day late, and dollar short when contending for another series. While we cannot expect a new senior advisor to change a baseball culture overnight, perhaps Hart will bring a spark of new vision that’s certainly, at least in this writer’s opinion, needed in Atlanta. Either way, congratulations to John Hart on the hire, and best wishes.
[Biographical Information provided by Wikipedia]