Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Francis Thomas "Fay" Vincent, Jr. (born May 29, 1938 in Waterbury, Connecticut) is a former entertainment and sports executive who served as the commissioner of Major League Baseball from September 13th, 1989 to September 7th, 1992.
Prior to becoming deputy commissioner under his friend A. Bartlett Giamatti, Fay Vincent was the chairman of Columbia Pictures (beginning in 1978) and the vice chariman of Coca-Cola (beginning in March of 1982). In April of 1986, Vincent was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President of the Coca-Cola Company. This meant that Vincent was responsible for all of the company's entertainment activities.
He became the 8th commissioner of baseball following the untimely death of Bart Giamatti, and presided over the Loma Prieta earthquake which interrupted the 1989 World Series, the owner's lockout (which delayed Opening Day of the 1990 season by a week), and a suspension of George Steinbrenner in his first year.
Vincent also had plans to realign the National League (which may have ultimately been the main cause for his forced resignation). Vincent wanted the Chicago Cubs & St. Louis Cardinals to move from the Eastern Division to the Western Division. The Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves, who had been a geographic mistake ever since Major League Baseball realigned in 1969, would move to the Eastern Division.
His relationship with baseball's owners was always tenuous at best; he resigned in 1992 after the owners gave him an 18-9 no confidence vote. He was replaced by Milwaukee Brewers owner Bud Selig. It should be mentioned that Fay Vincent was never able to complete the five year term that he had inherited from Bart Giamatti.
Because Selig's family retained ownership of the Brewers, Vincent was the last truly impartial commissioner of baseball, since he held no ownership of a team himself. Fay Vincent most recently, wrote his autobiography entitled "The Last Commissioner: A Baseball Valentine."
Vincent has also been connected with Pete Rose's lifetime banishment from baseball; however, Rose's banishment began while Giamatti was commissioner, not Vincent (although Vincent led the investigation and was involved in the negotiations). Vincent has publicly said he does not support Rose's reinstatement. In 2001, when baseball owners voted to contract two clubs, Vincent criticized them for not consulting the players union.
- Fay Vincent attended Yale with Bucky Bush, the brother of future president George Herbert Walker Bush. Vincent would receive his law degree from Yale in 1963.
- Vincent was an exceptional athlete as a young man having mastered in track & field and football. Vincent's life changed forever when a freak accident in his college dorm room crushed one of his legs. Vincent's leg has never fully recovered and he has since been relegated to having to use a cane.
- Before becoming the chairman of Columbia, Vincent attended the Washington, DC law firm Caplin and Drysdale.
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