Braves hire Schugel as special asst., Balderson retires

The Braves announced the retirement of longtime special assistant and venerable scout Dick Balderson and the hiring of Jeff Schugel as a major league scout and special assistant to general manager Frank Wren.

Balderson spent 16 seasons in the Braves organizations, including 10 as a special assistant to the GM and major league scout. He also served as Braves director of player development from July 1999 through the 2003 season.

Balderson and John Schuerholz, Braves president and longtime former general manager, first worked together in the 1970s when Schuerholz was with Kansas City and hired Balderson as an assistant in player development. Balderson later worked as a front-office execurive and/or scout with the Mariners, Cubs and Rockies before joining the Braves.

“When I asked him to join our staff in Kansas City, it was a reflection of my respect for his knowledge of the game, his leadership skills and his judgment,” Schuerholz said. “I have high regard for Dick as a person and as a baseball executive and we all wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”

Schugel has spent 30 years in professional baseball including 26 as a scout. He will work closely with the Braves baseball operations department and report to Wren, who said Schugel would primarily scout teams in the West divisions and do special-assignment scouting.

He spent the past nine seasons as a scout with the Los Angeles Angels, and previously worked with the Dodgers, Rockies and Twins.