Selig is now an all time great in baseball.
Did you see who is being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? It is none other than the retired Major League Baseball Commissioner Allen H. “Bud” Selig who more than likely got a plaque on his first review because modernizing the industry is a credential for getting into the Cooperstown shrine. But a real look at Selig’s baseball career finds at best mixed results. Selig did stubbornly keep pressure on Major League Baseball to return to Milwaukee after the Braves franchise moved to Atlanta for the 1966 season. He picked up the Seattle Pilots franchise in a bankruptcy proceeding and move the team to Milwaukee in March 1970. But there are many demerits too.
In 1990, Selig was one of the 26 owners who were found guilty of colluding to depress players’ salaries in the mid-1980s. The owners were forced to pay a $280 million fine to the players. Commissioner Selig was one of the owners, which included Texas Rangers minority partner George W. Bush, who was found guilty of bad faith negotiations in the collective bargaining agreement talks in 1994 and 1995 which did lead to the 1994-1995 baseball strike. The bad faith finding forced the owners and players to talk and ended that dispute. Brewers owner Selig misled the Wisconsin legislature in 1997 asking for a new stadium. Commissioner Selig and MLB manipulated the Boston Red Sox auction where the third bidder was declared the winner as part of a swap that saw Florida owner John Henry ending up in Boston, Montreal owner Jeffrey Loria going to Florida and baseball taking over Montreal in 2002. Selig and MLB were blocked by a judge from contracting the Minnesota Twins franchise in 2001. Selig also presided over the steroids era in the 1990s. Selig modernized the business and urged the expansion of the playoffs and money flowed in. That’s enough for Cooperstown’s honors.
Bud Selig is now a member of a very exclusive club.