The sports world lost a management titan on Tuesday with the passing of Jerry Krause at 77. Krause, who is most famous for being the ‘architect’ of the dynasty that helped bring six NBA titles to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, was one of the best general managers in the sport. But his true passion was in baseball, where he also had a large and lasting impact.
Starting as a scout in basketball in the 60s is where Krause sharpened his evaluating skills before moving to baseball. Dating back to 1972 with tenures as a scout with the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics, the keen eye for spotting talent was formed for Krause. In that time period, Krause was a part of three titles in Oakland as a member of the organization.
Eventually his scouting prowess brought him to Chicago with the White Sox. He was the central figure in evaluating the players acquired in the trade with the Padres involving 1983 Cy Young winner LaMarr Hoyt, one of which would be three-time All-Star and 1985 Rookie of the Year Ozzie Guillen. Guillen, of course, would go on to be a central part of bringing a title to the White Sox in 2005 as their manager. But it all started with Krause’s intervention in that trade.
More from Call to the Pen
- Philadelphia Phillies, ready for a stretch run, bomb St. Louis Cardinals
- Philadelphia Phillies: The 4 players on the franchise’s Mount Rushmore
- Boston Red Sox fans should be upset over Mookie Betts’ comment
- Analyzing the Boston Red Sox trade for Dave Henderson and Spike Owen
- 2023 MLB postseason likely to have a strange look without Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals
Of course White Sox team owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who also owns the Bulls, took notice and named Krause the Bulls’ general manager. The rest, as they say, is history. Inheriting Michael Jordan was obviously an enormous advantage, but Krause built a sustained winner that dominated the 90s and is arguably the most popular dynasty the NBA has ever seen.
Krause will be remembered among the great executives in Chicago sports history, with his only real peers being in the middle of their runs in Cubs president Theo Epstein and Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman.
After the tumultuous end to the six-title run, the success never came back to the Bulls with Krause at the helm after the rebuild, and he moved back to scouting baseball.
As explained by Mike Oz of Yahoo! Sports, baseball was always the game that Krause had the most passion for:
"So Krause returned to baseball scouting after raising all those championship banners with the Bulls. He was scouting for the Mets and Yankees after his NBA run, then returned to the White Sox, where he was named their scout of the year for 2010.At the time he told the Chicago Tribune: “This game is where my heart is. Always will be.”"
Krause spent the last years of his talent evaluation career in MLB with the New York Yankees, Mets, White Sox and Diamondbacks. With news of his death on Tuesday, his loss could be felt over the landscape of two professional sports, which is very rare for anyone.