Bud Selig

Bud Selig

Infobox Person
name = Bud Selig

image_size = 200px
caption =
birth_name = Allan Hubert Selig
birth_date = birth date and age|1934|7|30
birth_place = Milwaukee, Wisconsin
death_date =
death_place =
death_cause =
education = American History and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1956.
employer = Major League Baseball
occupation = Commissioner of Major League Baseball
term = 1992 — present
website = [http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/about_mlb/executives.jsp?bio=selig_bud MLB Bio]
footnotes =

Allan Huber "Bud" Selig, Jr. (born July 30, 1934 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is the Commissioner of Major League Baseball and has served in that capacity since 1992 as the acting commissioner, and as the official commissioner since 1998. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/01/17/sports/s105517S11.DTL Selig Given 3-Year Contract Extension] ] 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. Selig also introduced revenue sharing. [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/columnist/bodley/2004-08-20-bodley_x.htm Selig emerges as the best of all of baseball's bosses] ] 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. Selig enjoys a high level of support from baseball owners. [ [http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1846&Itemid=42 Retiring? Ousted? Bud Selig’s Contract Extended to 2012] ] 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.

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."cite web | url = http://files.mlb.com/mitchrpt.pdf | title = Mitchell Report | format = PDF | pages = 310-311 | accessdate = 2007-12-13 ] The results of the Mitchell Report have caused Congressman Cliff Stearns to call for Selig to step down as commissioner. 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 effect. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/12/15/SPRQTV1S2.DTL Selig unlikely to penalize Giants execs Assigning blame could be difficult] ]

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 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. [ [http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080117&content_id=2347936&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News ] ] Selig made $14.5 million in the 12-month period ending Oct. 31, 2005.

Early life

Selig graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1956 with degrees in political science and history. [http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/about_mlb/executives.jsp?bio=selig_bud MLB Bio] ] He served 2 years in the armed forces before working with his father who owned a car leasing business in Milwaukee. Selig continues to be involved in the automotive industry, serving as president of the Selig Executive Lease Company.

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

"See also: Milwaukee Braves"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-vacant 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. Clearly, Milwaukee was hungry for baseball.

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 owner's collusion in 1985-1987, 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.

Selig has long been considered a hero by baseball fans in Milwaukee, and while such enthusiasm ebbed somewhat during the failed management term of his daughter, Selig is still recognized for all that he as done for baseball and its presence in Milwaukee. In particular, Selig is famous for his lunches at Gilles Frozen Custard, a well-known hotdog and custard stand not far from Miller Park in Milwaukee.

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 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. It should be noted, that 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. Incidentally, 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, he presided over the 1994 players strike and resulting cancellation of the World Series (the first time it had not been staged since 1904). Since then, some have accused Selig of being little more than a puppet for the owners rather than a true leader.Fact|date=July 2007 Notably, the NBA, NHL, and NFL commissioners have always been considered primarily as advocatesFact|date=May 2007 for the league owners who elect them and to whom they are answerable. Some have argued that Selig's role as a representative of the owners interests has led directly to Major League Baseball's ability to institute changes and bargain strongly with the Players Association in a way that was never possible beforeFact|date=June 2007.

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, divisional realignment (oddly enough, the subject that resulted in the ouster of Selig's predecessor Fay Vincent), and the addition of a third round of post-season 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.


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.

Selig was heavily criticized citation needed|date=October 2008 for holding a vote on contracting two teams, reportedly the Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos, less than 48 hours after the dramatic conclusion of the 2001 World Series.cite web
last = Schoenfield
first = David
title = Still 30 teams: Contraction timeline
publisher = ESPN.com
date = 2002-02-05
url = http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/2002/0205/1323230.html
format = HTML
accessdate = 2008-10-07
] This action, among others,citation needed|date=October 2008 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.


In 2002, Selig began enforcing the 60/40 rule (asset/debt ratio).

Also in 2002, an embarrassing moment for Selig occurred during the 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 custom of allowing each player appearance time 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). [ [http://www.baseball-almanac.com/asgbox/asgtv.shtml All-Star Game Television Ratings on Baseball Almanac ] ] The American television audience increased in 2006 (9.3 rating; 16 share). [ [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/baseball/mlb/specials/all_star/2006/07/12/bc.bbo.all.starratings.ap/index.html SI.com - MLB - 2006 All Star Game - Ratings up for All-Star Game, HR Derby - Wednesday July 12, 2006 6:41PM ] ]


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. [cite news
author =
title = MLBPA/MLB joint announcement
url = http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/pa/releases/releases.jsp?content=111505
publisher = MLBPA
date = 2005-11-15
accessdate = 2007-03-21

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.


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 dollars from MLBA over the timespan October 31, 2005 to October 31, 2006. [cite web
last = Press
first = Canadian
title = MLB: Selig made $14.5 million last year
publisher = The Sports Network (TSN)
date = 2007-04-03
url = http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/news_story/?ID=202619&hubname=
format = HTML
accessdate = 2007-09-12

The Steroids Investigation

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. [cite web
last = Sheehan
first = Joe
title = Prospectus Today — Break with the Past
publisher = Baseball Prospectus
date = 2007-05-22
url = http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=6261
format = HTML
accessdate = 2007-08-14


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 7th 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.


On January 17, 2008, Selig's contract was extended by the MLB through 2012, at which point he plans to retire. Some observers have criticized Selig's role in the steroid era. Chicago Sun Times columnist Jay Mariotti called Selig the "The Steroids Commissioner." [ [http://www.suntimes.com/sports/mariotti/742620,mariotti011608.article Selig's only legacy: S-T-E-R-O-I-D-S] ] 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.

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 (1998)
*Abolition of the National and American 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
*Home field advantage in the World Series granted to the winner of the All Star Game in the same season (2003)
*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)

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, and Washington, D.C., with stadiums scheduled for the Mets, Yankees, 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.Citation
last = Wohlgelernter
first = Elli
title = Field of Failed Dreams
newspaper = The Jerusalem Post
year = 2008
date = 2008-07-24
url = http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331082409&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter
format = HTML
accessdate = 2008-07-28


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.


External links

* [http://bballbiz.blogspot.com/2007/02/mlb-commissioner-bud-seligs-speech-at_16.html Video Of MLB Commissioner's Speech On The State Of Baseball , February 8, 2007]
* [http://www.slate.com/id/2118114/ "Bud Selig: A baseball hero. Really."] - Nicholas Thompson, Slate.com, May 5, 2005
* [http://www.baseball-almanac.com/articles/bud_selig_biography.shtml Baseball Almanac bio]
* [http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brew/thu/selig70998.stm Selig elected Commissioner in unanimous vote]

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