Bud Selig to keynote 4th Annual Wisconsin Veterans Business Conference

Allan H. (Bud) Selig
Commissioner Emeritus of Major League Baseball

 Allan H. (Bud) Selig is the Commissioner Emeritus of Major League Baseball and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York on July 30, 2017.

Selig was named to the unprecedented position of Commissioner Emeritus by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. on December 19, 2014, Selig assumed the role on January 25, 2015, when Manfred became the 10th Commissioner in the history of Baseball.  As Commissioner Emeritus, Selig serves as an adviser to Manfred and assists him with special projects. He is currently at work on his autobiography which will be published by HarperCollins this summer.

Allan H. (Bud) Selig was named the ninth Commissioner of Baseball on July 9, 1998, by a unanimous vote of the 30 Major League Baseball club owners.  Prior to his election as Baseball’s Commissioner, Selig served as Chairman of the Executive Council, making him the central figure in Major League Baseball’s organizational structure dating back to September 9, 1992.

Having served more than 22 years as the leader of the baseball industry and having implemented remarkable change throughout his tenure, Selig was deservedly rewarded by being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on December 5, 2016, and inducted the following July. He was elected the first year he was eligible and is the fifth Baseball Commissioner to be elected, following in the footsteps of Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Happy Chandler, Ford Frick and Bowie Kuhn.

Selig led the way toward implementation of many of the game’s structural changes, including the expanded Wild Card Postseason format, Interleague Play, realignment, restoration of the rulebook strike zone, introduction of the World Baseball Classic, consolidation of the leagues’ administrative functions and instant replay, which was first available for potential home runs beginning in 2008 and then for nearly all plays starting in 2014.

In August 2002, Selig engineered a historic labor agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association that avoided a work stoppage for the first time in 30 years and included meaningful revenue sharing among the clubs.  In October 2006 and again in November 2011, MLB and the MLBPA continued the groundbreaking era of labor peace by reaching new five-year collective bargaining agreements.  By the end of the current agreement, baseball will have gone at least 21 years without a strike or a lockout, the longest period of uninterrupted play since the inception of the collective bargaining relationship.

The significant changes to baseball’s economic system during Selig’s tenure helped the sport achieve unparalleled competitive balance. Through the final 14 years of his commissionership, nine different Clubs won the World Series and 27 different Clubs participating in the Postseason the final 10 years of the Selig commissionership.  From 2000-2009, MLB produced eight different World Series Champions, which exceeded the comparable figures of the other major American professional sports leagues, and 14 different Clubs earned the 20 available slots in the Fall Classic, which was also unsurpassed among the results of the other leagues.

In November 2005, MLB and the MLBPA announced an historic agreement to fortify its drug testing policy, making it the most comprehensive in professional sports and highlighting Selig’s long-term efforts to try to rid the game of illegal steroids and other performance-enhancing substances.  In July 2010, MLB became the first U.S. professional sports league to conduct blood testing for the detection of Human Growth Hormone (hGH) with the start of testing among Minor League players.  In November 2011, the program became a part of MLB’s collective bargaining agreement with the MLBPA, making baseball the first North American professional sport to adopt such testing.  On January 10, 2013, MLB and the MLBPA jointly announced unprecedented anti-doping steps in American professional sports with the addition of unannounced, random blood testing for hGH during the regular season.  The pact also included the establishment of a longitudinal profile program.  On March 28, 2014, MLB and the MLBPA further solidified the most comprehensive program in American professional sports.

Selig expanded the reach of the sport in numerous ways.  Under his guidance in January 2000, MLB took the unprecedented step of centralizing all of the sport’s Internet rights under MLB Advanced Media.  On January 1, 2009, MLB Network launched as the largest debut in cable television history.  In 2006, 2009 and 2013, MLB and the MLBPA staged the World Baseball Classic, the most important international baseball event ever ventured, in which Major League players competed for their home countries for the first time. The World Baseball Classic resumed in 2017 and will be played again in 2021.

Selig guided the game through a significant renaissance.  Major League Baseball set its all-time regular season attendance record each year from 2004-2007, culminating in an all-time high of 79,503,175 fans in 2007.  The 2008 season marked the second highest attendance total in history with more than 78.6 million fans.  With more than 73 million fans again each year from 2009-2014, the last decade (2005-2014) includes all 10 of the best-attended seasons in baseball history.  Revenues increased more than seven-fold, from $1.2 billion in 1992 to a record total exceeding $9.0 billion in 2014.

Selig has received many significant honors for his accomplishments, philanthropy and corporate citizenship in recent years.  In March 2010, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which aids academically distinguished minority students, presented him its Lifetime Achievement Award.. In May 2010, the Taylor Hooton Foundation bestowed its inaugural Taylor’s Award to Selig for his impact on educating American youth on the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.  In August 2010, the Milwaukee Brewers unveiled a statue in Selig’s likeness outside Miller Park, honoring all of his efforts for his hometown and for his leadership of the Brewers and the game of baseball. 

In September 2010, Stand Up To Cancer, dedicated to groundbreaking translational research in the fight against cancer, made its first Named Innovative Research Grant in honor of Allan H. Selig and his wife, Suzanne L. Selig, for spearheading MLB’s remarkable industry-wide support as a founding donor.  In August 2011, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled the Allan H. (Bud) Selig Center for the Archives of Major League Baseball Commissioners, a permanent research space within the halls of Cooperstown, dedicated in his honor. 

In September 2012, the Green Sports Alliance presented its first Environmental Leadership Award to Selig; the Natural Resources Defense Council called Selig “the single most influential environmental advocate in the history of sports.”  In June 2013, the Commissioner was the recipient of B’nai B’rith International’s Distinguished Humanitarian Award.  In June 2014, Boys & Girls Clubs of America presented Selig with its Chairman’s Award at the organization’s Great Futures Gala.  In October 2014, he was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.  In January 2015, Selig received the William J. Slocum/Jack Lang Award for “long and meritorious service to Baseball” from the New York Baseball Writers and the inaugural “Red Award” – named for Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst – for his “invaluable service to Baseball” from the St. Louis Baseball Writers. In August 2017, Selig was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Milwaukee Public School Foundation at its inaugural awards dinner. 

Selig is a major supporter of his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as Marquette University.  The University of Wisconsin has named several need-based scholarships and a history department chair in Selig’s honor.  Selig, who has taught at Marquette University Law School since 2009, was named to its adjunct faculty as distinguished lecturer in sports law and policy in 2010. Selig also teaches a baseball history course at the University of Wisconsin. Additionally, Selig is the O’Connor Distinguished Professor of Sports in America at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. And, in December 2018, the Seligs were presented the William S. Levine Family Community Excellence Award by the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center. 

Bud and Sue have three daughters and five granddaughters and one great-grandson.

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