Hank Peters, the architect of the Orioles’ last world championship team in 1983, died this morning of complications from a recent stroke. He was 90.
Peters was the Orioles’ general manager from 1975 through 1987, and the club won two American League championships on his watch, in 1979 and 1983, and beat the Philadelphia Phillies in five games in 1983 to win the club’s third World Series title.
He was named Sporting News Major League Baseball Executive of the Year for 1983. Peters also won the award in 1979.
Peters joined the Orioles in December 1975, replacing Frank Cashen. From 1975 through 1983, the Orioles won 90 or more games seven times. They won 102 games in 1979, but lost the World Series to Pittsburgh. The next year, the Orioles won 100 games, but finished in second place. It was the last time the club won 100 games.
Peters, who lived in Highland Beach, Fla., passed away at Hospice By The Sea in Boca Raton, Fla.
In June 1976, Peters pulled off one of the biggest and most significant trades in Orioles franchise history. In a 10-player deal with the New York Yankees, the Orioles acquired catcher Rick Dempsey and pitchers Scott McGregor and Tippy Martinez, three players who played key roles on both AL championship clubs.
In 2001, Peters was named the Herb Armstrong Award winner, joining the Orioles Hall of Fame. The Armstrong award honors a non-uniformed member of the organization who made a significant contribution over at least five years with the Orioles.
Peters is survived by a daughter, Sharon Peters of Delray Beach, Fla.; a son, Steve Peters of Boynton Beach, Fla.; and two grandchildren. His wife of 59 years, the former Dorothy Kleimeier, died in 2010.
Funeral plans have not yet been announced.
The Sun first reported the news of Peters’ death.
Update: Orioles owner Peter Angelos released the following statement on Peters’ death:
“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Hank Peters, and on behalf of the Orioles organization, I extend my condolences to his daughter Sharon, his son Steve and his entire family. Hank was highly regarded throughout baseball as a man of integrity and great character. He was an integral part of the Orioles’ winning tradition, including 10 consecutive winning seasons from 1976 to 1985 and the club’s third World Series championship in 1983. His impact was felt by multiple organizations throughout his 40-year baseball career, and he will be missed by all who knew him.”
Update II: A memorial service for Peters will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Glick Funeral Home on North Federal Highway in Boca Raton.