Bud Selig

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Bud Selig : biography

30 July 1934 –

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. However, in January 2008, Selig agreed to a three-year contract extension, announcing he planned to retire after the 2012 season. He further decided against retirement, and after a two-year extension for the previous deal was agreed to on January 12, 2012, it was announced that Selig would remain commissioner until the end of the 2014 season.

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.

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.

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:

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 racially insensitive and 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.

Notable changes to Major League Baseball

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

  • Realignment of teams into three divisions per league, and the introduction of playoff wild card teams (1994)
  • Interleague play (1997)
  • Two additional franchises: the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, now the Tampa Bay Rays (1998)
  • Transfer of the Milwaukee Brewers from the American League to the National League (1998)
  • Abolition of the American and National league offices and presidencies, and inclusion of all umpiring crews into a common pool for AL and NL games, instead of having separate pools per league (2000)
  • Unbalanced schedule (2001) New York Times
  • Home field advantage in the World Series granted to the winner of the All Star Game in the same season (2003)
  • Transfer of Montreal Expos franchise to Washington, D.C., becoming the Washington Nationals (2004)
  • Dedicating April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day (2004)
  • Stricter Major League Baseball performance-enhancing drug testing policy (2005)
  • World Baseball Classic (2006)
  • Introduction of instant replay in the event of a disputed home run call (2008)
  • Introducing a second wild card playoff team in each league (2012)
  • Requiring the Houston Astros to move to the American League (2013), as a condition of the sale of the team to Jim Crane, resulting in an odd number of teams in each league and interleague play throughout the season