Allan "Bud" Selig
Acting Commissioner of Baseball
1992-July 9, 1998
Ninth Commissioner of Baseball
In accordance with the Major League Agreement, the Major League Executive Council has the authority to administer baseball in the absence of a commissioner. When Commissioner Fay Vincent resigned, on September 7, 1992, Bud Selig was named Chairman of the Major League Executive Council. This appointment was tantamount to designating Selig as the Acting Commissioner of Major League Baseball. He served in this capacity for nearly six years, until July 9, 1998, when he was elected the ninth Commissioner of Major League Baseball by a unanimous vote of the 30 MLB club owners.
• Allan Selig was born on July 30, 1934, in Milwaukee. In 1956, he received a bachelor's degree in American history and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After two years of active military service, Selig returned to Milwaukee and joined his father in the automobile business.
• A lifelong baseball fan, Selig became a Braves fan when that National League franchise moved to Milwaukee from Boston in 1953. He had become the team's largest public stockholder before selling his stock when the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1965.
• Selig played a highly active role in campaigning for the return of MLB to Milwaukee. His efforts came to fruition in 1970 when a Seattle bankruptcy court awarded Selig and his coinvestors ownership of the defunct Seattle Pilots franchise. The Milwaukee Brewers, as an American League club, played their first season in Milwaukee in 1970 (Selig was part owner and team president) and have been there ever since.
• Selig served in this capacity until 1998, when he relinquished his ties to the club in order to assume the office of Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
Bud Selig's Woes as Acting Commissioner:
• On September 14, 1994, with money being the issue, Selig cancelled the remainder of the baseball season. Thus, the regular season ended prematurely, there were no playoffs, and there was no World Series. Selig and the other owners apparently estimated that a baseball stoppage would be in their best financial interests. It was more or less the same attitude they had shared in 1990; however, their plans at that time were foiled by Commissioner Fay Vincent, who intervened to save the season.
• The 1995 season began with the MLB teams being staffed with minor league players and "scabs" (regular players who refused to strike). The public was absolutely furious, and the media was totally negative. Selig and the other owners finally relented and were forced to accept most of the regular players' financial demands so that the "real" season could commence. The owners had horribly misjudged the effects of their attempts at destroying the MLBPA. Instead, it was the owners who were humbled and broken. The owners had created such a mess that they had brought the game of baseball to its knees. As usual, money was the key issue. The subjects of drug testing and steroids remained on the back burner.
• Fay Vincent's 1991 memorandum had outlined his intended policy regarding drug use. It included provisions, not only for major league drug testing, but also for minor league and amateur, entry-level players to be subject to unannounced drug testing. Obviously, Vincent wanted to send a strong message to all of those who aspired to eventually play at the major league level. Selig, regrettably, swept Vincent's memorandum under the rug, refusing to allow anyone or anything to interfere with the owners' prerogatives in dealing with the MLBPA.
• The 1996 and 1997 seasons were terrible for baseball. The fans were "turned-off" by the strike, attendance was down, and baseball was viewed in negative terms by even its most loyal and die-hard fans.
Prior to Selig's assumption of control, the illegal use of drugs and steroids was a hot topic both in and out of baseball. However, what with all the turmoil associated with the owners versus the MLBPA contest of wills, hardly a word had been heard during Selig's watch concerning MLB drug (to include amphetamines) or steroid testing. The use of illegal substances was, of course, banned. The problem was that the MLB hierarchy was, stupidly, willing to take players at their word concerning their use of drugs.
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