John Hart (baseball)

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John Hart
Born (1948-07-21) July 21, 1948 (age 65)
Tampa, Florida
Occupation Baseball executive

John Henry Hart (born July 21, 1948) is an American Major League Baseball executive. In addition, he is the former general manager of the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers; now he currently serves as senior adviser of baseball operations for the Atlanta Braves. He also currently serves as a studio analyst for the MLB Network.

Biography[edit]

Hart was born John Henry Hart in 1948 in Tampa, Florida. He attended Seminole Junior College where he was catcher on the baseball team. In 1969 he won All-American honors and began his professional career as a catcher in the Montreal Expos organization. He caught with them for three seasons before leaving the organization and returning to Florida. He graduated in 1973 from the University of Central Florida with majors in history and physical education.

Baseball career[edit]

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

Hart then coached high school baseball in the Orlando, Florida area before joining the Orioles organization in 1982 as a minor league manager. He managed in their minor league organization for six seasons before joining the major league team as third base coach in 1988.

Cleveland Indians[edit]

In 1989, John Hart joined the Cleveland Indians as a special assignment scout, but then replaced Doc Edwards as manager for the final 19 games of the regular season (the team put up an 8-11 record during those games). For the next two seasons, Hart served as Director of Baseball Operations for the club. In September 1991, John Hart replaced Hank Peters as general manager and executive vice president of the Indians. During the next 10 years, the Indians were 870-681 under Hart. They won six of the seven possible American League Central division titles, which was introduced for the 1994 strike shortened season (1995–1999 and 2001) with appearances in the World Series in 1995 and 1997. Since Hart's departure from the organization in 2001, the Indians have appeared in only two postseasons in 13 years.

Texas Rangers[edit]

At the beginning of the 2001 season, Hart announced that it would be his last season as general manager of the Indians. After the season, Hart stayed true to his word and Assistant GM Mark Shapiro took over as general manager on November 1. But rather than take another position with the club, or retire, John Hart instead took the general manager position that had opened up with the Texas Rangers after the departure of Doug Melvin.

On July 21, 2004 the Rangers announced a contract extension for Hart for a guaranteed two more years and an annual mutual option to extend the contract each year thereafter. In addition, the contract stipulated that once it was terminated by either side, it automatically converted to a five year agreement for Hart to serve as senior advisor to the owner.

Just over a year after agreeing to the extension, John Hart stepped down as general manager of the Texas Rangers on October 4, 2005 and was replaced by Jon Daniels. During his four years with the Rangers, the team compiled a record of 311–337, never advancing to the playoffs.

After Hart garnered interest for the general manager position on other teams in the 2005 off-season, the Rangers extended his senior advisor contract for three more years, through the 2013 season, in exchange for Hart refusing to consider any other GM positions.

Atlanta Braves[edit]

Soon after his Rangers contract expired, the Atlanta Braves announced that Hart had signed with the organization as senior advisor for baseball operations, similar to the position Hart held with the Rangers. Hart and long-time Braves executive John Schuerholz had been friends since long before the Braves and Indians met in the 1995 World Series.

Awards[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Cal Ripken Sr.
Baltimore Orioles Third Base Coach
1988
Succeeded by
Cal Ripken Sr.
Preceded by
Hank Peters
Cleveland Indians General Manager
19912001
Succeeded by
Mark Shapiro
Preceded by
Lee Thomas
Sporting News Major League Baseball Executive of the Year
1994, 1995
Succeeded by
Doug Melvin
Preceded by
Doug Melvin
Texas Rangers General Manager
20012005
Succeeded by
Jon Daniels