MLB Official Info
Allan H. (Bud) SeligCommissioner Emeritus
Allan H. (Bud) Selig was elected the ninth Commissioner of Baseball on July 9, 1998 by a unanimous vote of the 30 Major League Baseball club owners. He led the industry since September 9, 1992.
Selig was born on July 30, 1934 in Milwaukee and received a bachelor's degree in American History and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1956. After serving two years in the armed forces, Selig returned to Milwaukee and began working in the automobile business with his father.
A life-long baseball fan, Selig followed the old Milwaukee Brewers minor league team and the Chicago Cubs while growing up. Selig, a Braves fan once the National League franchise moved from Boston to Milwaukee in 1953, subsequently became the team's largest public stockholder before selling his stock in 1965, when the club moved to Atlanta.
Upon learning of the Braves' intended move to Atlanta, Selig founded "Teams, Inc.," an organization dedicated to returning Major League Baseball to Milwaukee. The group, which later changed its name to "The Brewers," arranged for several Chicago White Sox games to be played in Milwaukee in 1968. After failing to purchase the White Sox in 1969, Selig's efforts were finally rewarded on April 1, 1970, when a Seattle bankruptcy court awarded the Seattle Pilots franchise to Selig and his investors.
The American League Champion Brewers appeared in the 1982 World Series, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. The club won seven "Organization of the Year" awards during Selig's tenure as club president, including the Topps "Organization of the Year" award in 1987, '89, '91, and '92. In addition, the Brewers won an unprecedented three-straight Baseball America awards from 1985-87.
Selig's active role in baseball, in the Milwaukee community and throughout the nation has resulted in numerous honors and awards during his career, including:
The Chairman's Award from Boys & Girls Clubs of America at its Great Futures Gala, presented on June 4, 2014.
The President's Award from the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, presented on May 28, 2014, for his advocacy for cancer education and research after being personally touched by cancer.
The "Dream. Dare. Do." Award from the National Museum of American Jewish History, presented on May 13, 2014.
The inaugural "Commissioner Bud Selig Leadership Award," presented by the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) on January 21, 2014. Selig was the first recipient of the recognition named in his honor, given to a baseball executive who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to enhancing the resources and reach of the 501(c) 3 charity that assists members of the "Baseball Family" who are in need.
The 2013 Distinguished Humanitarian Award from B'nai B'rith International, presented on June 27, 2013; B'nai B'rith International is the most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organization. Selig was honored for the shared ideals and spirit of philanthropy between Major League Baseball and B'nai B'rith International.
The first Environmental Leadership Award ever presented by the Green Sports Alliance, a nonprofit organization that aims to help sports leagues, teams and venues enhance their environmental performance, on September 6, 2012. The Natural Resources Defense Council called Selig "the single most influential environmental advocate in the history of sports."
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's opening of 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 on August 18, 2011.
Stand Up To Cancer's Named Innovative Research Grant on September 10, 2010. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation that raises funds to hasten the pace of groundbreaking translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives, made its first such grant in honor of Allan H. (Bud) Selig and his wife, Suzanne L. Selig, for spearheading MLB's remarkable industry-wide support. MLB was the first major donor to SU2C with a $10 million initial pledge in 2008 and an additional $20 million donation at the time of the announcement in September 2010, bringing the total at that time to more than $30 million.
The Milwaukee Brewers' unveiling of a statue in Selig's likeness outside of Miller Park on August 24, 2010, joining those of Hall of Famers Henry Aaron and Robin Yount. The Brewers honored Selig for returning Major League Baseball to Milwaukee, serving as President of the Brewers, leading the efforts to build Miller Park and for his achievements as the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
The American Legion's James V. Day "Good Guy" Award in August 2010, presented for his leadership of MLB, his concern for America's youth and his support of humanitarian causes and community projects.
The Taylor Hooton Foundation's inaugural "Taylor's Award" on May 13, 2010. The Taylor Hooton Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating America's young people about the dangers of anabolic steroids and other appearance and performance-enhancing drugs, honored Selig for making a major impact on efforts to educate American youth and protect them from illegal substances.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award on March 8, 2010. The Jackie Robinson Foundation, which provides college scholarships, grants and mentoring to academically distinguished minority students with financial need and records of leadership capacity, recognized Selig "for his commitment and revolutionary contributions to America's favorite pastime for more than 40 years."
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum's 2009 John "Buck" O'Neil Award in January 2010, presented to a philanthropist for outstanding support of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
USA Baseball's Lifetime Achievement Award in July 2008, presented for his contributions to the game.
The Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in May 2008, presented for "distinction in public life." The Woodrow Wilson Awards are part of an effort, established by Congress, to memorialize the 28th U.S. President.
The Award of Excellence from the Sports Lawyers Association on May 18, 2007 in Boston.
The Frederick Douglass Medallion from the New York Urban League for his work in promoting equality and fairness on May 3, 2007 in New York City.
The 2006 Executive of the Year by the SportsBusiness Journal and the SportsBusiness Daily for his accomplishments as the leader of Major League Baseball.
The Gold Medal Award from the United Services Organization (USO) on December 7, 2006 in New York City.
Recognition from the Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) for his contributions to the fight against drug abuse on November 27, 2006 in New York City.
The Centennial National Human Relations Award, along with wife Sue, from the American Jewish Committee, presented for promoting social justice and human understanding on November 21, 2006 in Milwaukee.
The Champion of Youth Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for Major League Baseball's commitment to the youth of America, presented on June 8, 2005.
The Judge Emil Fuchs Award from the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) for long and meritorious service to baseball, presented on January 12, 2004.
The Recognition of Goodness Award by the prestigious Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, an organization that provides financial support to aging non-Jews who risked their lives to save others during the Holocaust, for his extensive charitable efforts, presented on December 8, 2003 in New York City.
The Honor Award by the National Building Museum in recognition of Major League Baseball's surge in ballpark construction, presented on September 17, 2003 in Washington, D.C.
The Urban Hero Award for his support of urban youth initiatives at the Eighth Annual Urban Heroes Award Benefit, presented on June 2, 2003.
The Baseball Assistance Team's Big Bat/Frank Slocum Award for his contributions to and support of B.A.T., presented on January 21, 2003 in New York City.
Induction to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, on November 29, 2001.
The Sports Torch of Learning Award, presented to outstanding leaders in the field of sports from the American Friends of Hebrew University on July 18, 2001 after the creation of "The Allan H. and Suzanne L. Selig Merit Scholarship Fund" to the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The Human Relations Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice, on June 19, 2001.
The Sports Leadership Award from Greater New York Chapter of the March of Dimes, on December 6, 2000.
The Master of the Game Award from Marquette University Sports Law Institute, on September 22, 2000.
Induction to the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame, on May 3, 2000.
The Good Scout Award from Boy Scouts of America, on December 8, 1999.
The Herbert Hoover Humanitarian Award, received on November 19, 1998 from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for outstanding service to benefit America's youth.
The Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Sports Academy in 1998.
Being named Wisconsin's Top Sports Personality of the Past 25 Years, an award by the Milwaukee Pen & Mike Club, in February 1995.
The World of Difference Award from the Anti-Defamation League, in February 1994.
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, awarded to outstanding Citizens of the United States who have contributed to our national Identity while preserving the distinct values and heritage of their ancestors, on May 16, 1993.
The Distinguished Citizen Award from the Potawatomi Council of the Boy Scouts of America, in December 1990.
The August A. Busch, Jr. Award, presented by Major League Baseball Ownership in September 1989. The award, given for "long and meritorious service to baseball," is the equivalent for off-field personnel to the players' Most Valuable Player Award.
The Baird Award for Management Excellence, in April 1989, given annually to a Wisconsin corporation that demonstrates superior financial achievement and community involvement.
The United States Olympic Committee's Sportsman of the Year Award for his contributions to baseball and to youth in Milwaukee, in May 1983.
The International B'nai B'rith Sportsman of the Year Award for his distinguished contributions to the world of sports, in February 1981.
The Major League Executive of the Year by United Press International, in 1978.
Selig has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Green Bay Packers, Inc., Marcus Corporation and the Oil-Dri Corporation of America. He has also been on the Board of Visitors for the Department of Political Science and the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin. Selig has been a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee and the Boys & Girls Clubs Board of Trustees. He is a founder of Athletes for Youth and was instrumental in establishing the Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Fund.
Bud and his wife Sue are very active in the Milwaukee community. They were co-recipients of the "1990 Humanitarian Award" from the St. Francis Children's Center. They also lend their support and time to the Milwaukee Art Museum. In July of 2001, the Allan H. and Suzanne L. Selig Merit Scholarship Fund was established at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Selig, who was active in the governance of Major League Baseball during his tenure as President of the Brewers, was a member of the Major League Executive Council when Commissioner Fay Vincent resigned on September 7, 1992. In accordance with the Major League Agreement, which grants the Executive Council the authority to rule Baseball in the absence of a Commissioner, Selig became the central figure in Baseball's power structure on September 9, 1992, when his fellow owners named him Chairman of the Executive Council.
Selig served a dual role as President of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club and Chairman of the Major League Executive Council until his appointment as Commissioner in 1998. At that time his financial interest in the club was placed in trust and he relinquished involvement in all matters dealing with the operation of the Brewers. In January 2005, the Brewers were sold to Mark Attanasio, thus ending Selig's 35-year relationship with the club.
As Chairman of the Executive Council, and then as Commissioner, Selig's ability to rule by consensus brought about numerous dramatic changes to baseball, including:
Significant revenue sharing among the clubs and the competitive balance tax.
Three-division formats in the American and National Leagues.
The start of the Division Series, the Wild Card Games and the Wild Card playoff berths.
Realignment, including the formation of two 15-team Leagues for 2013.
Consolidation of the administrative functions of the American and National Leagues into the Commissioner's Office.
The restoration of the rulebook strike zone.
The unbalanced schedule.
Instant replay, covering home runs and boundary calls beginning in August 2008, and then, effective for 2014, an expanded system that allows managers and the crew chief to invoke instant replay for most types of plays on the field.
At Shea Stadium on April 15, 1997, with Rachel Robinson and President Bill Clinton at his side, Selig marked the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's entry to Major League Baseball by announcing that number 42 would be permanently retired throughout the game in perpetuity. No on-field personnel have been issued number 42 since the announcement, which represented the first gesture of its kind in professional sports and continues to stand as a profound tribute to the courage of Jackie Robinson and the "game's proudest and most powerful moment." In 2004, MLB officially designated April 15th as Jackie Robinson Day across the game. In 2007, select players from every Club were allowed to wear number 42 in Jackie's honor, expanding an idea from Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. In 2009, a new annual tradition began as all on-field personnel wore number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day.
Labor peace has become a hallmark of Commissioner Selig's tenure. On August 31, 2002, Selig engineered an historic labor agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association that avoided a work stoppage and provided significant economic concessions to the clubs. It was the first time in 30 years that the clubs and the Players Association were able to reach a labor agreement without either a strike or a lockout. The concessions have generated greater competitive balance among the clubs. The unprecedented era of labor peace continued as the clubs and players reached new, five-year pacts on October 24, 2006 and again on November 22, 2011. The contracts are the longest labor agreements in baseball history. By the end of the current deal, baseball will have gone at least 21 years without a work stoppage, the longest period of labor peace since the inception of the collective bargaining relationship.
The most recent labor agreement features several historic provisions, including the creation of two 15-team Leagues, with six divisions of five Clubs each, effective for 2013; the expansion to a 10-team Postseason format, with two Wild Cards per League, while maintaining the most exclusive playoffs in American professional sports; the start of blood testing of Major League players to detect Human Growth Hormone (hGH); the implementation of safety provisions such as improved batting helmets and the use of low-density maple bats for future players, as well as the official adoption of the joint concussion policy enacted in 2011; and a program that will limit the use of smokeless tobacco by players and establishes public education and outreach efforts about the dangers of its use.
The significant changes to baseball's economic system have helped the sport achieve competitive balance, made evident by many developments: over the last five years, 20 different Clubs have participated in the Postseason; over the last decade, 26 teams have competed in the playoffs; and nine different Clubs have won the last 13 World Series (from 2001-2013). From 2000-2009, Major League Baseball produced eight different World Series Champions, which exceeded the comparable figures of the other major American professional sports during that span, and 14 different Clubs earned the 20 available slots in the Fall Classic in the 10 years, which was also unsurpassed among the results of other leagues.
Because of the Commissioner's leadership, MLB now has the toughest drug-testing and disciplinary policy in American professional sports. On January 13, 2005, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced an agreement to expand its drug-testing program to include random, year-round testing, immediate discipline, and broader list of banned substances. On November 15, 2005, the parties implemented an historic drug-testing program with the most rigorous discipline in professional sports, resulting in a 50-game suspension of first-time offenders, a 100-game suspension for a second offense, and a lifetime ban for a third. That agreement also banned the use of amphetamines, implementing a testing plan and a disciplinary policy for the use of those substances. The parties have updated the Joint Drug Program annually since then, adding new banned substances.
In July 2010, MLB became the first U.S. professional sports league to adopt blood testing for the detection of hGH with the start of testing at the Minor League level. On January 10, 2013, MLB and the MLBPA expanded upon the initiatives that were a part of the 2012-2016 Basic Agreement. The parties jointly announced unprecedented anti-doping steps in American professional sports, including the addition of unannounced, random blood testing for the detection of human growth hormone (hGH) during the regular season. The pact also included the establishment of a longitudinal profile program, in which a Player's baseline Testosterone/Epitestosterone (T/E) ratio and other data will be maintained in order to enhance its ability to detect the use of Testosterone and other prohibited substances. On March 28, 2014, MLB and the MLBPA further solidified the most comprehensive program in American professional sports by increasing testing frequency, expanding IRMS testing, raising unpredictability of testing and implementing even more stringent disciplinary measures, among many steps.
MLB has taken an aggressive, wide-ranging approach on the fronts of awareness, education and research in the fight against performance-enhancing substances. MLB continues to work closely with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. A founding partner of the Taylor Hooton Foundation in 2005, MLB extended its commitment to the grassroots anti-steroid educational program. In 2008, MLB became a founding partner of the Partnership for Clean Competition (PCC), a landmark research collaboration designed to further curtail the use of banned and illegal substances in sport. The fellow founding partners were the United States Olympic Committee, the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the National Football League. The PCC combines the resources and expertise of leading sports entities to underwrite cutting-edge anti-doping research. Don Hooton, President of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, said in May 2010, "Major League Baseball has singularly dedicated more resources to supporting anti-steroid educational programs than any other entity in the United States, including the federal government."
In 2009, the Commissioner established the "Special Committee for On-Field Matters," comprised of an accomplished group of baseball veterans - owners, general managers, field managers and others - that examines all on-field related issues. The Committee reviews all aspects of the game on the field, including scheduling, playoff formats, umpiring, pace of game, instant replay and any other issue that can improve the game. The Committee's recommendations have helped guide the Commissioner's actions that have modified logistical matters in such key areas as scheduling, instant replay and on-field regulations pertaining to the regular season, the Postseason and jewel events.
Under Selig's leadership as Executive Council Chairman and Commissioner, new ballparks have opened in new stadiums have opened in Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas and Washington.
Selig has expanded the reach of the sport in numerous ways. Under his guidance in January 2000, MLB took the groundbreaking step of centralizing all of the sport's Internet rights under MLB Advanced Media, which has become a model for building a successful and sustainable 21st Century digital media company. MLB.com has won a pair of SportsBusiness Journal Awards, for Best in Digital Sports Media in 2010 and for Best in Sports Technology in 2009, recognizing the At Bat iPhone Application. On January 1, 2009, MLB Network launched as the largest debut in cable television history. In April 2010, MLB Network won four Sports Emmy Awards among its 12 nominations for its work during its first year on the air. In 2006, 2009 and 2013, MLB and the MLBPA partnered to stage the World Baseball Classic, the most important international baseball event ever ventured, in which Major League players competed for their home countries. The third World Baseball Classic, played in 2012-2013, featured 28 competing teams, including a new Qualifier round.
After presiding over the game during a troubled period that included a 272-day player strike in 1994 and 1995, Selig is in the process of guiding 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. From 2004 through 2013, more than 73 million fans have attended regular season games each season, meaning that the last decade includes all 10 of the best-attended seasons in baseball history. Revenues have increased more than six-fold, from $1.2 billion in 1992 to an all-time high exceeding $8.0 billion for the first time in 2013. On September 26, 2013, it was announced that Commissioner Selig will retire upon the completion of his current term, which runs through January 24, 2015.
Selig is a major supporter of his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as Milwaukee's Marquette University. The University of Wisconsin has presented need-based scholarships named for him, entitled the "Suzanne and Allan (Bud) Selig Great People Scholarship" and the "Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation 4 For 4 Scholarship in Honor of Commissioner Allan (Bud) Selig," in addition to the Allan H. Selig Chair in the History Department. Having taught at Marquette University Law School since 2009, Selig was named to the institution's adjunct faculty as distinguished lecturer in sports law and policy in 2010.
Bud and Sue have three daughters and five granddaughters.