Hank Peters, Former Cleveland Indians GM, Dies at 90


Hank Peters, who was the Cleveland Indians general manager from 1987 until John Hart took over in 1992, died Sunday morning at age 90. Peters is credited with laying the groundwork for Hart’s powerhouse Indians teams in the 1990’s, and was a longtime general manager of the Baltimore Orioles.

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Peters had some incredible drafts during his tenure as the Indians GM, in which he essentially served as a bridge to his protegee, Hart. His 1989 draft netted the Indians a likely future Hall of Famer in Jim Thome, and the team got the productive Brian Giles a few rounds later. In total, 14 players from that draft made the Majors, including Alan Embree, who is the answer to a fantastic trivia question (who was traded, along with Kenny Lofton, to the Atlanta Braves before the 1997 season for David Justice and Marquis Grissom?) and Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, who was a reliever in MLB.

Peter’s 1990 draft wasn’t as successful (with David Bell being the only real notable player), but his 1991 draft made up for it with some key contributors to the 1995 and 1997 American League Champions (Albie Lopez, Chad Ogea, Herbert Perry) and Paul Byrd, who was traded away before he made the big-leagues, but ended up returning to the Indians as a free agent later in his career and pitching for the team in the 2007 playoffs.

Oh yeah, Peters also had the foresight to pop a risky talent with the 13th pick in the 1991 draft, and it’s fair to say Manny Ramirez made good on Peters’s gamble.

Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

Peters also served as farm director for the Kansas City Royals.

“Hank has been the most influential individual in my professional career,” Hart told the Baltimore Sun. “I’ve never known a man with more integrity, energy or passion. This is a tough time, a sad time.”

Peters is survived by a son, a daughter and two grandchildren. Our condolences at Wahoo’s on First go out to the Peters family, and to anyone else affected by his loss in the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians or Kansas City Royals organizations, and throughout Major League Baseball. Rest in peace, and thanks for all the fun.

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