Former GMs Schuerholz, Tallis enter Royals Hall of Fame

June 29th, 2024

KANSAS CITY -- Gale and Gary Tallis had a front-row seat to some of the best Royals teams in franchise history that their father, Cedric, built as the franchise’s first general manager.

On Friday, they finally saw their father get the recognition he deserved for his efforts when he was posthumously inducted alongside John Schuerholz as part of the Royals Hall of Fame weekend at Kauffman Stadium.

The former general managers became the 28th and 29th members of the Royals Hall of Fame. Bo Jackson will join them on Saturday with his own induction ceremony before the 3:10 p.m. CT game against the Guardians.

Donning his new blue Royals Hall of Fame jacket, the 83-year-old Schuerholz threw the ceremonial first pitch to World Series winning manager Ned Yost, while Gary simultaneously tossed one home to Hall of Famer and Royals legend George Brett.

“Dad would be so proud to be here,” Gary said. “Same with Mom [Barbara Tallis]. This would be wonderful for them to be around still, but they’re so happy up there right now. This is their day today. This is wonderful.”

On Friday, Gary reconnected with the same players he grew up watching -- fellow Royals Hall of Famers such as Willie Wilson and Amos Otis. Gary even served as Kansas City’s bat boy when he was 13 years old, in addition to shagging balls during batting practice and flying on the team plane, tagging along for the ride while his father brought in and developed Royals legends such as Brett, Otis, Wilson, Hal McRae, Paul Splittorff and Steve Busby.

John Schuerholz delivers the ceremonial first pitch to former manager Ned Yost.Amy Kontras/Royals

“Amos Otis seemed like every couple of weeks would ask me to tell Dad to get him a raise,” Gary said, laughing. “I told Amos that story today, and I don’t know if he remembered it, but it looked like he did. But I remember that so well, he was like he was the only player that was like, ‘Tell your dad to get me a raise.’ And Willie Wilson, he was just so nice.”

While Tallis left the Royals in 1974, it was his foundation that led to three consecutive playoff appearances from 1976-78 and to the franchise’s first World Series appearance in ‘80, which the Royals lost in six games to the Phillies.

“Our father used to love to dance,” Gale Tallis said. “Somebody said he wasn’t a good dancer, but he loved to dance. And we just think about him up there dancing because this is such a momentous occasion. We are so honored to be able to accept this and have him inducted. We do wish they [Cedric and Barbara] were here, but … they’re up there.”

Schuerholz, who was the Royals’ general manager from 1981-90, brought Kansas City its first World Series title in 1985. He was instrumental in bringing in and developing players such as Jackson, Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza and Bud Black.

Schuerholz was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017 after finishing his career in Atlanta, where he also won a World Series title in 1995.

“Whenever I think of John Schuerholz, I think of the model baseball executive,” said former Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who worked with Schuerholz in Atlanta. “What [Schuerholz] accomplished -- winning two World Series championships in two different leagues, first general manager to ever do that.

“What they accomplished here with the first ever championship in Kansas City Royals history. And then go to Atlanta and win 14 straight division titles, five National League pennants and obviously a World Series championship in 1995.

“John has meant the world to me and my family, and truthfully many people who remain in this organization today are really blessed to have had John Schuerholz as an example, a mentor, somebody who modeled excellence.”

It has been over 30 years since either Schuerholz or Tallis has worked for the Royals’ organization, but their impact and memory will now be forever enshrined in the Royals Hall of Fame.

And their successful blueprint to winning baseball in Kansas City has never faded away.

“I’m grateful for Cedric Tallis and the example he set,” Moore said. “A great steward of the game, steward of the franchise, put it on the right track, and created a vision.

“It’s all you think about, building your team and thinking about the sacrifices that [your family] had to make. That’s meaningful. And it takes an incredible leader like Cedric Tallis and John Schuerholz, not only to manage a baseball team and to share those burdens and some of the weight you feel from a fan base, but also to manage your family as well.

“That’s what I’m thinking of today during the induction.”