For years now Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, has hinted at retirement. When he began as MLB commissioner in 1992 he only took the position on an interim level and really had no plans of staying put in this office for 21 years. In 1992 MLB owners voted to oust current MLB commissioner Fay Vincent, which meant Selig was next in line to take the position since he was chairman of the Executive Council of Major League Baseball at that time. He than became Acting Commissioner until 1998 when owners voted to give him the title permanently. Selig has been hinting at retirement for almost 10 years now however he continued to take contract extensions in 2004, 2008, and again in 2012.
Selig has left a major impact on the game of baseball and has been on the forefront of many milestones and major changes that have shaped the game of baseball. Some major highlights of his career include adding Interleague play in 1997, the creation of the World Baseball Classic in 2006, giving home field advantage in the World Series to the league that wins the All-Star game in 2003, introduction of instant replay for disputed home run calls in 2008, and most notably the stricter performance-enhancing drug testing policies. With all of those accomplishments his legacy is not without some blemishes as well. Prior to the stricter performance-enhancing drug testing policies he was accused of turning a blind-eye to many players who were using PEDs in the 1990’s and 2000’s. He also was given a lot of grief on how he handled the 2002 All-Star game which subsequently led to the change in 2003 which gives home field advantage in the World Series to the winner of that game.
Love him or hate him, Bud Selig will go down as one of the greatest commissioners in MLB history. The big question remains to be seen though; is this really it? Will Selig finally close the door on his storied two decade long run as top dog in Major League Baseball? MLB owners sure would love to see him stay as he has been a great commissioner in baseball and has kept teams on the field playing with no labor stoppage since 1994. All signs point to his exit at the end of 2014 and Selig himself seems pretty certain next year will be his last. In an interview with Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal, Selig states, “I think [the owners] understand. I am done. I do understand some of the feeling out there, but I am done Dec. 31, 2014. That’s it.” So now the big question is…who is up to bat next?
- Selig: You “won’t recognize” baseball in a decade (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Bud Selig Says He Is Retiring as MLB Commissioner After 2014 Season (nesn.com)
- Commissioner Bud Selig turns down contract extension, insists on retirement (tracking.si.com)