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Herm Schneider to become White Sox head trainer emeritus

Trainer Herm Schneider, who completed his 40th season with the White Sox in 2018, will move into a new role with the club next season as head athletic trainer emeritus, the club announced Monday.

Schneider, 66, is the longest-tenured athletic trainer in the major leagues. It has been a successful run — the Sox used the disabled list 185 times for a total of 9,057 days missed from 2002-18, the lowest totals in baseball.

The Sox have not announced a replacement.

“Discussions are already well underway, and we expect to have a public announcement soon about our future plans for the department,” general manager Rick Hahn said.

Chicago White Sox trainer Herm Schneider, left, and manager Robin Ventura check out first baseman Jose Abreu after Abreu's minor collision with Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis at first during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, in Chicago. Kipnis was out on the play. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Schneider, who said he turned down a two-year deal to continue as head trainer, will advise the baseball operations department on medical issues relating to free agency, the draft and trades. He will also be a resource throughout the training department at the major and minor league levels.

“I kind of told Rick and [vice president] Kenny [Williams] how I’d like to proceed with my career and they were absolutely awesome,” Schneider said. “They made this decision of mine seamless.’’

“I see how things are changing a little and I felt like it was the right time to not step back but step aside a little bit and let some other people have their way of doing things.

“I thought it was time for a younger person to step in. All of us sooner or later will know when it is the right time.”

A behind-the-scenes face of the franchise since coming over after nine years in the Yankees organization, “Herm Schneider was an anonymous hero for many years,’’ said Ozzie Guillen, manager of the 2005 World Series champion Sox. “I don’t think there is anyone better in the business. His dedication to his job was off the charts. I sincerely believe he is one of the most important people in the history of the White Sox.’’

Former All-Star and manager Robin Ventura called Schneider “the fabric of the organization.”

Said chairman Jerry Reinsdorf: “The White Sox have been incredibly fortunate to have Herm Schneider as our organization’s trainer for the past 40 years. Countless players owe the extensions of their careers to Herm and his tireless work ethic when it comes to injury prevention and treatment.

Schneider said “the friendships and personal relationships make this decision to move into an emeritus role the hardest. The friendships I have made here will last the rest of my life.’’

The Sox put out a 2,220-word press release announcing the move, which included statements from players, management and staff lauding Schneider’s work. Here is a sampling:

Harold Baines, former White Sox player and coach

“Herm Schneider is simply the best trainer I ever had. Even more, he is the closest friend I had in baseball … and always will be.”

Mark Buehrle, former White Sox pitcher

“I’m proud of the fact that I took the mound every five days and never went on the disabled list, but there is no way I could have done it without the help of Herm and his staff. I’m fortunate I was able to spend the first 12 years of my career with Herm as my trainer. I consider him a great mentor and friend.”

Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph, White Sox team physician

“Herm and I spent 15 years together, and it was a tremendous privilege to work with someone of Herm’s knowledge and skill at the elite level of professional sports.  There is a reason why the White Sox led Major League Baseball as the healthiest team for many, many years, and that reason is Herm Schneider.”

Danny Farquhar, former White Sox pitcher

“Herm will forever hold a special place in my heart and in my story of survival. I would not be here without his skill and fast action. I am blessed to have worked with him and to know him as a friend.”

Ozzie Guillen, former White Sox player and manager

“Herm Schneider was an anonymous hero for many years. I don’t think there is anyone better in the business. His dedication to his job was off the charts. I sincerely believe he is one of the most important people in the history of the White Sox. All the individual accolades that White Sox players have earned during Hermie’s tenure with the team are owed, in part, to him. He always supported and took care of the players. I am grateful for all he did for me. My family and I will always be thankful.

Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager

“Always the first at the ballpark and the last to leave each night, it is impossible to overstate what Herm Schneider has meant to the White Sox during his 40 years of service to our organization. The ability of our medical and training staffs to keep our players healthy and on the field is unmatched in baseball over the past four decades. We are pleased that Herm will remain with the organization in an emeritus status as his knowledge and expertise will continue to be valued.”

Tony La Russa, former White Sox manager/HOF

“To me, longevity is the best example you can point to in terms of someone’s excellence as a person and as a professional. Herm’s 40 years speak to how outstanding he was.”

Robin Ventura, former White Sox player and manager

“Herm has enjoyed a great run. Basically, he is the fabric of the White Sox organization.  He’s what helps tie us all together.