Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Allan Huber "Bud" Selig (born July 30, 1934 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is the current Commissioner of Baseball, having been formally appointed on July 2, 1998 after having served as acting commissioner since 1992. He was previously the team owner and administrator of the Milwaukee Brewers. On August 21, 2004, Selig's contract was extended for three years by Major League Baseball, extending his term to December 31, 2007. Selig is a resident of Milwaukee and was a used car salesmen before entering baseball.
Milwaukee Brewers owner
In 1970 he responded to the 1965 departure of the Milwaukee Braves to Atlanta by purchasing the bankrupt Seattle Pilots franchise, moving them to his hometown and renaming the team the Milwaukee Brewers.
During Selig's tenure as club president, the Brewers appeared in the 1982 World Series but have failed to make another appearance in the series.
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.
Actions as Commissioner
As Executive Council Chairman (Selig's official title while serving as "acting commissioner" 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 and Texas. In 2002, Selig announced that he would start enforcing the 60/40 rule (asset/debt ratio) despite his Brewers being at 100/97 just five years before. Under Selig, Major League Baseball also saw the consolidation of the administrative functions of the American and National League into the Commissioner's Office in 2000. The last official presidents of the NL & AL were Leonard Coleman & Dr. Gene Budig respectively.
Selig suspended Marge Schott for a year in 1993 for repeated predjudicial remarks and actions. The same year George Steinbrenner was reinstated from a lifelong suspension. Pete Rose has claimed that he applied for reinstatement over the years and received no such consideration.
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). Ever since the days of the 1994 work stoppage, some fans have accused Selig of being little more than a puppet for the owners rather than a true leader.
During his tenure the game avoided a second work stoppage in 2002, 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.
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.
While hailed by some baseball's owners as a visionary who has salvaged the sport, he is vilified by many fans and some in the media, primarily for labor-related issues but also for considering "innovations" that have met with disfavor, particularly placing advertising on player uniforms and on the field. Selig was also heavily criticized for staging contraction hearings on the Minnesota Twins and the Montreal Expos less than 48 hours after the dramatic conclusion of the 2001 World Series.
An embarrassing moment during Bud Selig's tenure came 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 managers ran out of fresh players and caught in a sudden jam, Selig had no other option other than to call the game a tie. In the aftermath of the fiasco, Major League Baseball decided to create the stipulation that the winning league of the All-Star Game would gain home-field advantage for that year's World Series.
In 2005, he faced Congress on the issue of steroids, saying that he only became aware of this problem in 1998 around the time of Mark McGwire's home run record. However, per ESPN, he forgot that MLB and the owners had a meeting about this issue as far back as 1993. He also implied that the MLBPA was the real culprit to any steroid use reform.
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