Former Atlanta and Kansas City general manager John Schuerholz has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, leading off a ceremony that also will honor Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, and former commissoner Bud Selig on his 83rd birthday.

In 26 years as a GM, Schuerholz's teams won 16 division titles, six pennants and two World Series. He was the first general manager in history to win a World Series in each league.

Schuerholz credits divine providence and fate for his good fortune. He says a case of German measles left him deaf in his right ear, forcing him to be more attentive.

Schuerholz, who played second base at Towson University, says he knew where he should concentrate his future in baseball after a two-day tryout when he was told to time the players on the second day instead of taking the field.

"The message was delivered," Schuerholz said. "I'd better concentrate someplace other than trying to be a professional baseball player. Divine providence. Fate. I truly believe so."

His hometown Baltimore Orioles gave him a spot in its minor league system, and in 1969 Schuerholz joined the expansion Kansas City Royals and became the team's general manager 12 years later, winning the 1985 World Series before leaving for the Braves.

With Schuerholz calling the front-office shots, Atlanta won a remarkable 14 straight division championships.

He joins former Atlanta manager Bobby Cox and pitchers John Smoltz and Greg Maddux, key cogs on those Braves teams.