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Bud Selig
Born Allan Huber Selig
July 30, 1934 (1934-07-30) (age 75)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Education American History and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1956.
Occupation Commissioner of Major League Baseball
Employer Major League Baseball
Term 1992–present
Website
MLB Bio

Allan Huber "Bud" Selig[1][2][3] (born July 30, 1934) is the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, having served in that capacity since 1992 as the acting commissioner, and as the official commissioner since 1998.[4] Selig oversaw baseball through the 1994 strike, the introduction of the wild card, interleague play, and the merging of the National and American leagues under the Office of the Commissioner. He was instrumental in organizing the World Baseball Classic in 2006.[4] Selig also introduced revenue sharing.[5] He is credited for the financial turnaround of baseball during his tenure with a 400 percent increase in the revenue of MLB and annual record breaking attendance.[4] Selig enjoys a high level of support from baseball owners, but has been widely decried by both the MLB Players' Union for his policies and by the general public for presiding over the game during one of its most contentious periods. Jerome Holtzman, Major League Baseball's official historian from 1999 until his passing in 2008, believed that Selig was the best commissioner in baseball history.[5]

During Selig's term of service, the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs became a public issue. The Mitchell Report, commissioned by Selig, concluded that the MLB commissioners, club officials, the Players Association, and the players all share "to some extent in the responsibility for the steroid era."[6] Following the release of the Mitchell Report, Congressman Cliff Stearns called publicly for Selig to step down as commissioner, citing his "glacial response" to the "growing stain on baseball."[4] Selig has pledged on numerous occasions to rid baseball of performance enhancing drugs, and has overseen and instituted many rule changes and penalties to that end.[7]

Selig was previously the team owner and team president of the Milwaukee Brewers. As a Milwaukee native, he is credited for keeping baseball in Milwaukee. In 1970, he purchased the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court and renamed them the Milwaukee Brewers after a minor league team he had watched in his youth. The Brewers went to the 1982 World Series and won seven organization of the year awards during his tenure. Selig remains a resident of Milwaukee.

On January 17, 2008, Selig's contract was extended by the MLB through 2012, at which point he plans to retire.[8] Selig made $14.5 million in the 12-month period ending Oct. 31, 2005.[4]

Contents

Early life

Selig was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up in a Jewish family. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1956 with degrees in political science and history.[9] He served two years in the armed forces before working with his father who owned a car leasing business in Milwaukee.[9] Selig continues to be involved in the automotive industry, serving as president of the Selig Executive Lease Company.[9]

As a young man, Selig watched the Milwaukee Brewers, a minor-league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs of the National League, unrelated to the current incarnation of the Milwaukee Brewers. Bud soon became a Braves fan when the National League franchise moved to his home town of Milwaukee from Boston in 1953. Selig became the team's largest public stockholder. Selig was heartbroken and devastated when he learned that the Braves were going to leave Milwaukee in favor of Atlanta. In 1965, when the Braves left Milwaukee, he divested his stock in the team.

Milwaukee Brewers owner

As a minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves, Selig founded the organization Teams, Inc, in an attempt to prevent the majority owners (based out of Chicago) from moving the club to a larger television market. This was challenged legally on the basis that no prior team relocations (in the modern era) left a city without a team. Prior movements had all originated in cities which were home to at least two teams. When his quest to keep the team in Milwaukee finally failed after the 1965 season, he changed the group's name to Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, Inc., after the minor league baseball team he grew up watching, and devoted himself to returning Major League Baseball to Milwaukee.

Selig arranged for major league games to be played at the now demolished Milwaukee County Stadium. The first, a pre-season match between the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins, drew more than 51,000 spectators. Selig followed this up by hosting nine White Sox regular-season games in 1968 and eleven in 1969. Oddly enough, one of the series played in Milwaukee that year was against the expansion Seattle Pilots, the team that would become the Brewers. Those Milwaukee "home" games were phenomenally successful, with the handful of games accounting for about one-third of total White Sox home attendance.

To satisfy that fanbase, Selig decided to purchase the White Sox (with the intention of moving them to Milwaukee) in 1969. He entered into an agreement to buy the club, but the American League vetoed the sale, preferring to keep an American League team in Chicago to compete with the crosstown Cubs. Selig turned his attention to other franchises.

In 1970, he purchased the bankrupt Seattle Pilots franchise, moving them to his hometown and officially renaming the team the Brewers.

During Selig's tenure as club president, the Brewers participated in postseason play in 1981, when the team finished first in the American League East during the second half of the season, and in 1982, when the team made it to the World Series, under the leadership of future Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. Under Selig's watch, the Brewers also won seven Organization of the Year awards. Selig was part of the owners' collusion in 19851987, resulting in the owners paying $280 million in damages to the players.

Upon his assumption of the commissioner's role, Selig transferred his ownership interest in the Brewers to his daughter Wendy Selig-Prieb in order to remove any technical conflicts of interest, though it was widely presumed he maintained some hand in team operations. Although the team has been sold to Los Angeles investor Mark Attanasio, questions remain regarding Selig's past involvement. Selig's defenders point to the poor management of the team after Selig-Prieb took control as proof that Selig was not working behind the scenes.

Acting Commissioner (1992–1998)

Selig became an increasingly vocal opponent of Commissioner Fay Vincent, and soon became the leader of a group of owners seeking his removal. Selig has never stated that the owners colluded, while Vincent has:

The Union basically doesn’t trust the ownership because collusion was a $280 million theft by Selig and Jerry Reinsdorf of that money from the players. I mean, they rigged the signing of free agents. They got caught. They paid $280 million to the players. And I think that’s polluted labor relations in baseball ever since it happened. I think it’s the reason MLBPA executive director Donald Fehr has no trust in Selig.[10]
Fay Vincent

Following an 18-9 no-confidence vote, Vincent resigned. Selig had by this time become chairman of the Executive Council of Major League Baseball, and as such became de facto acting commissioner.

His first major act was to institute the Wild Card and divisional playoff play, which has created much controversy amongst baseball fans. Those against the Wild Card see it as diminishing the importance of the pennant race and the regular season, with the true race often being for second rather than first place, while those in favor of it view it as an opportunity for teams to have a shot at the playoffs even when they have no chance of a first-place finish in their division, thus maintaining fan interest later in the season.

Selig suspended Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott for a year in 1993 for repeated prejudicial remarks and actions. The same year, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was reinstated from a lifelong suspension that was instituted by Selig's predecessor Fay Vincent. Pete Rose has claimed that he applied for reinstatement over the years and received no such consideration. Rose, along with his close friend and former teammate Mike Schmidt (who is a strong supporter of Rose's reinstatement into baseball), met with Selig in 2002, where Rose privately admitted to Selig (two years before going public with his admission) about betting on baseball. Bud Selig was a close friend of the late Bart Giamatti, who was the commissioner when Rose was first banned from the sport in 1989.

As acting commissioner, Selig represented MLB during the 1994 players strike and cancelled the World Series, marking the first time the annual event had not been staged since 1904.

Commissioner (1998–present)

After a six-year search for a new commissioner, the owners voted to give Selig the title on a permanent basis midway through the 1998 season.

During his tenure the game avoided a third work stoppage in 2002, and has seen the implementation of interleague play.

Whereas in the past, the National and American Leagues had separate administrative organizations (which, for example, allowed for the introduction of different rules such as the designated hitter), under Selig, Major League Baseball consolidated the administrative functions of the American and National League into the Commissioner's Office in 2000. The last official presidents of the NL and AL were Leonard S. Coleman, Jr. and Dr. Gene Budig respectively.

Reaction after September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001, Selig ordered all baseball games postponed for a week because of the terror attacks on New York and Washington. The games were postponed not only out of respect and mourning for the victims, but also out of concern for the safety and security of fans and players.

After a dramatic conclusion of the 2001 World Series, less than 48 hours later, Selig held a vote on contracting two teams, reportedly the Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos.[11 ] This action led to Selig (along with former Expos owner Jeffrey Loria) being charged with racketeering and conspiring with Loria to deliberately defraud the Expos minority owners. If found guilty the league could have been liable for $300 million in punitive damages. Selig was eager to settle the case because the judge had previously ruled that the Expos could not be moved or contracted until the case was over. The case eventually went to arbitration and was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

Changes to the MLB All-Star Game

An embarrassing moment for Selig occurred during the 2002 All-Star Game in Selig's hometown of Milwaukee. The game was tied 7-7 in the bottom of the 11th inning. Unfortunately, the recent managerial custom of granting some playing time within the regulation nine innings to as many available players as possible meant that the managers had used their entire rosters. To avoid risking the arms of the pitchers who were currently on the mound, Selig declared the game a tie, to the dissatisfaction of the Milwaukee fans. Since then, Selig has tried to reinvigorate the All-Star Game, most notably by awarding the winning league home-field advantage in the World Series. The 2003 All-Star Game had the same U.S. viewership as 2002 (9.5 rating; 17 share) and the ratings declined in 2004 (8.8 rating; 15 share) and 2005 (8.1 rating; 14 share).[12] The American television audience increased in 2006 (9.3 rating; 16 share).[13]

Disciplinary actions

On July 1, 2005, Selig suspended Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers for 20 games and fined him $50,000. Rogers got in trouble when on June 29, 2005, he purposely grabbed the camera of a cameraman, resulting in one camera falling to the ground. When the cameraman proceeded to pick up his camera, Rogers went back to him in an arguably threatening way. One of the reporters then resumed filming and Rogers smiled and talked to him. While an appeal of his suspension was pending, Rogers appeared at the 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit, where fans loudly booed him. On July 22, 2005, Selig heard Rogers' appeal of his suspension; he decided to uphold the 20 games. However, an independent arbitrator ruled that Selig had exceeded his authority and reduced it to 13 games.

Performance-enhancing drugs

In 2005, Selig faced Congress on the issue of steroids. After the Congressional hearings in early 2005, and with the scrutiny of the sports and national media upon this issue, Selig put forth a proposal for a stricter performance-enhancing drug testing regime to replace the current system. This proposal also included the banning of amphetamines, a first for the major North American sports leagues. The MLB Players Association and MLB reached an agreement in November on the new policy.[14]

In early 2006, Selig was forced to deal with the issue of steroid use.

On March 30, 2006, as a response to the controversy of the use of performance-enhancing drugs and the anticipated career home run record to be set by Barry Bonds, Selig asked former senator George Mitchell to lead an independent investigation into the use of steroids in baseball's recent past. Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus wrote that the commission has been focusing "blame for the era exclusively on uniformed personnel", and failing to investigate any role played by team ownership and management.[15]

Much controversy surrounded Selig and his involvement in Barry Bonds' all-time home run record chase. For months, speculation surrounded Selig and the possibility that he and Hank Aaron would not attend Bonds' games as he closed in on the record. Selig announced in July 2007 when Bonds was near 755 home runs that he would attend the games. Selig was in attendance for Bonds' record-tying home run against the San Diego Padres, sitting in Padres owner John Moores' private suite. Bud Selig did not attend the San Francisco Giants' baseball game on August 7 when Barry Bonds hit his record-breaking 756th home run; after the event, Selig released a statement congratulating Bonds.

On November 15, 2007, attention was brought once again to Barry Bonds as he was indicted by a federal Grand Jury for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection to his testimony before the Grand Jury regarding BALCO, a San Francisco Bay area lab known to be involved in the distribution of steroids to professional athletes.

On December 13, 2007, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell released his report on the use of performance-enhancing substances by MLB players. The report names many current and former players who allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs during their career, including Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Miguel Tejada, Eric Gagné, and Paul Lo Duca.

Selig has been widely criticized for not taking an active enough role to stem the tide of steroid use in baseball until it had blossomed into a debilitating problem for the industry. Chicago Sun Times columnist Jay Mariotti called Selig the "The Steroids Commissioner."[16] Selig has been called to Congress several times to testify on performance enhancing drug use. Congressman Cliff Stearns said in December 2007 that Selig should resign because of use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball during his tenure.[4]

Post-Season Schedule

Selig's decision to extend the traditional post-season schedule into November in an attempt to increase Nielsen ratings was met with widespread disdain, both inside and outside the baseball community. Mike Sciosia, manager of the American League West Division Champion Los Angeles Angels, dismissed the decision as “Ridiculous. I don’t know. Can I say it any clearer than that? We should have never had a day off last Wednesday. We should never have three days off after the season. You shouldn’t even have two days off after the season." [17]

Term of service

On December 1, 2006, Selig announced that he would be retiring as commissioner of baseball upon the expiration of his contract in 2009. Selig earned $14.5 million from MLB over the timespan October 31, 2005 to October 31, 2006.[18] However, on January 17, 2008, Selig's contract was extended by MLB through 2012, at which point he plans to retire.[4]

Notable changes to Major League Baseball

Bud Selig helped introduce the following changes to Major League Baseball:

During Selig's terms as Executive Council Chairman (from 1992–1998) and Commissioner, new stadiums have opened in Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Arlington, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., Queens, and The Bronx, with stadiums scheduled for the Twins and the Marlins in future years.

Israel Baseball League

Selig and his family served a supportive role on the Advisory Board of the Israel Baseball League during its inaugural season in 2007. In response to issues with the league's financial management, after the season, the Selig family requested that their names be removed from the list of board members.[19]

Family

Selig is married to his second wife, Sue Selig. He has two daughters from his previous marriage, Wendy Selig-Prieb and Sari Selig-Kramer, as well as a stepdaughter, Lisa Steinman. Selig-Prieb used to work for the Brewers, and Steinman currently works for MLB. He has five granddaughters: Emily Markenson, Alyssa Markenson, Marissa Savitch, Andria Savitch, and Natalie Prieb.

References

  1. ^ Posnanski, Joe (2008-10-29). "In appreciation of Bud Selig". Time Inc.. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/joe_posnanski/10/29/selig/index.html. Retrieved 2008-11-13.  
  2. ^ Bodley, Hal (2007-03-27). "Selig: Creature of habit, agent of change". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2007-03-26-selig_N.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-13.  
  3. ^ Microsoft Corporation (2008). "Bud Selig". Bud Selig. Microsoft Corporation. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_1741502266/bud_selig.html. Retrieved 2008-11-13.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f g By ANDREW BAGNATO, AP Sports Writer (2008-01-18). "Selig Given 3-Year Contract Extension". Sfgate.com. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/01/17/sports/s105517S11.DTL. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  5. ^ a b "Selig emerges as the best of all of baseball's bosses". Usatoday.com. 2004-08-20. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/columnist/bodley/2004-08-20-bodley_x.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  6. ^ "Mitchell Report" (PDF). pp. 310–311. http://files.mlb.com/mitchrpt.pdf. Retrieved 2007-12-13.  
  7. ^ "Selig unlikely to penalize Giants execs Assigning blame could be difficult". Sfgate.com. 2007-12-15. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/12/15/SPRQTV1S2.DTL. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  8. ^ By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com. "The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News". Mlb.mlb.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080117&content_id=2347936&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  9. ^ a b c "MLB Bio". Mlb.mlb.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/about_mlb/executives.jsp?bio=selig_bud. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  10. ^ "Interview with Fay Vincent". Bizofbaseball.com. 2005-11-09. http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1173&Itemid=81. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  11. ^ Schoenfield, David (2002-02-05). "Still 30 teams: Contraction timeline". ESPN.com. http://static.espn.go.com/mlb/s/2002/0205/1323230.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07.  
  12. ^ "All-Star Game Television Ratings on Baseball Almanac". Baseball-almanac.com. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/asgbox/asgtv.shtml. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  13. ^ "SI.com — MLB - 2006 All Star Game — Ratings up for All-Star Game, HR Derby — Wednesday July 12, 2006 6:41PM". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. 2006-07-12. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/baseball/mlb/specials/all_star/2006/07/12/bc.bbo.all.starratings.ap/index.html. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  14. ^ "MLBPA/MLB joint announcement". MLBPA. 2005-11-15. http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/pa/releases/releases.jsp?content=111505. Retrieved 2007-03-21.  
  15. ^ Sheehan, Joe (2007-05-22). "Prospectus Today — Break with the Past". Baseball Prospectus. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=6261. Retrieved 2007-08-14.  
  16. ^ Selig's only legacy: S-T-E-R-O-I-D-S
  17. ^ Another Day Off for Yankees and Angels, and It’s Not Exactly Welcome New York Times, October 25, 2009
  18. ^ Press, Canadian (2007-04-03). "MLB: Selig made $14.5 million last year". The Sports Network (TSN). Archived from the original on 2008-01-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20080122184319/http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/news_story/?ID=202619&hubname=. Retrieved 2007-09-12.  
  19. ^ Wohlgelernter, Elli (2008-07-24), "Field of Failed Dreams", The Jerusalem Post, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331082409&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter, retrieved 2008-07-28  

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

I poured my heart out in that call.

Allan Huber Selig, Jr., better known as Bud Selig (born July 30, 1934), is the Commissioner of Major League Baseball who has served as the acting commissioner since 1992 and as the official commissioner since 1998.

Sourced

  • I am terribly saddened to learn of the passing of Harry Dalton. He was one of the great general managers of our generation. I was fortunate to have him serve as general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers from 1978 through 1991.
  • I have often stated that baseball's proudest moment and its most powerful social statement came on April 15, 1947 when Jackie Robinson first set foot on a Major League Baseball field. On that day, Jackie put an end to segregation in baseball and ushered in the era in which baseball became the true national pastime. By celebrating Jackie Robinson Day every April 15, we have ensured that the incredible contributions and sacrifices he made — for baseball and society — will not be forgotten.
  • I poured my heart out in that call.
  • Major League Baseball has always recognized the influence that our stars can have on the youth of America. As such, we are concerned that recent revelations and allegations of steroid use have been sending a terrible message to young people.
  • Major League Baseball has not forgotten and will never forget the great contribution and sacrifice that Jackie made to baseball and to all of society
  • Major League Baseball is a national institution and we take our responsibilities seriously when it comes to how the game affects the lives of American youth.
  • On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am terribly saddened by the sudden passing of Kirby Puckett. He was a Hall of Famer in every sense of the term. He was revered throughout the country and will be remembered wherever the game is played. Kirby was taken from us much too soon — and too quickly.
  • One of the legendary broadcasters of our game. His distinct voice was a comfort to a generation of baseball fans in New England and throughout the country.
  • So that there is no misunderstanding from my perspective, I will suspend any player who tests positive for an illegal steroid. There will be no exceptions. The (players) union is aware of that and they accept it.
  • St. Louis is closer to Minneapolis than Milwaukee is.
  • That's the best we could do in collective bargaining. The penalties would be much tougher if I had my way. There will be no exceptions.
  • About the drug-testing policy.
  • The greatest country in the history in the world is being attacked. So all of this (baseball) doesn"t mean very much.
  • The one thing we know today is we can't continue to do business the way we have in the past.
  • There are many franchises today, and again I could begin to articulate them one by one, who have deep trouble. ... We have a remarkable number of teams losing a lot of money.
  • The positive shelf life of a new stadium has shrunk considerably. The new parks in themselves can't be a long-term or mid-term panacea.
  • This gathering of baseball's brightest stars will be an outstanding platform to grow the game internationally. As baseball continues to grow globally, more and more fans around the world have the opportunity to appreciate the grace and excitement of our great game. The first World Baseball Classic will bring a unique blend of enthusiasm to old and new fans alike.
  • You mean guys don't get injured in spring training? Guys get hurt walking down the street. All the managers, pitching coaches [are] very sensitive. Look, you can always pick at something, but there's a broader picture, a grander picture.

Quotes about Bud Selig

  • A baseball game, if it goes 5 innings, is official for betting purposes for betting either team. Whatever (commissioner) Bud Selig or anyone in baseball declares is completely different from wagering rules in sports books.
  • From the day Bud became involved in baseball, he divorced me and married baseball.
  • No suspended World Series Game shall be resumed until the various weather conditions have met the standards of Bud Selig. In the event that Bud Selig is no longer able to function as commissioner of baseball, the rule reverts back to the normal standards set forth in various other places in the rulebook.
  • Ron was frustrated. He wasn't happy but he wasn't as angry as I thought he would be. Ron's just kinda mystified, at this point, wondering what it will take. It may take a special declaration by Commissioner Bud Selig to get this to happen. I know Bud loves him. I know Bud wants him in the Hall of Fame. Most people who've followed the game for a long time, especially during that 1960s era with all those superstars, feel that Ron deserves to be in there.

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