His career was a kaleidoscope of scouting great players and working for colorful organizations. Whether it was for the St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Athletics, or Cleveland Indians, Henry “Hank” Peters was an executive that had a keen eye for talent, which allowed him to be an active part of MLB from the ‘50’s through the ‘90s.
Peters worked the likes of Charlie Finley, Bill DeWitt, Gabe Paul, Edward Bennett Williams, Jerry Hoffberger, and Richard Jacobs.
Under his tenure, the Orioles won AL pennants in 1979 and 1983, as well as the 1983 World Series.
Some of the players he drafted define Hall of Fame. Rick Monday, Reggie Jackson and Cal Ripken, Jr. are but a handful of the greats Peters was involved in drafting.
And, Peters' work in baseball spanned the minors, as well. He was the sixth president in the history of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues from 1972 to 1975.
Though Peters retired in 1991, this interview shows he still has an extremely good grasp of how the position of GM functions now along with the business of baseball. We’ve interviewed the likes of Buzzie Bavasi, Bowie Kuhn and Fay Vincent, but with Tal Smith the possible exception, Peters is the executive that has a career that equally spanned MLB both before the era of free agency and afterward – a key market dynamic that many GMs could not adapt to.
In this far-reaching interview conducted by Aryeh Rabinowitz, Peters touches on how the role of general manager has changed, how he approached the amateur draft, the influence of Bill DeWitt and Jim McCloughlin, his hiring of Mark Shapiro, his work as president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (which became MiLB), how he views the work that Andy MacPhail and the Orioles have done this past season, and much, much more. – Maury Brown
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