On January 24th, 2015 Bud Selig’s contract as the MLB commissioner will expire. He was the acting commissioner from 1992 to 1998 when he became the official commissioner. His list of accomplishments are as long as any other commissioners and many believe he is directly responsible for the great-state that baseball is in today.
Not everyone is a fan of Bud Selig’s changes to the game but there is no doubt he paved the road for innovation in baseball. Here are some of the accomplishments from his tenure:
- Labor Peace: The 1994 season marks the last time a strike has occurred in baseball meaning players have been relatively happy for the past 20 years.
- Expanded Playoffs: Selig introduced the Wildcard system in 1994 and since then 10 wildcard teams have played in the World Series.
- Mega Ballparks: During Selig’s tenure, 22 teams have opened new parks which are modern beauties that implement new technology to better the in-game experience.
- Huge Revenues: When Selig took over, the MLB was a $1.2 billion industry. It’s currently on the path to be a $9 billion industry.
- MLB Advanced Media: MLBAM is the business arm of the MLB and has been the biggest purveyor of sport’s technology in recent memory.
These accomplishments and much more can be found in the article from ESPN. Amongst all the great achievements of Bud Selig there will also be controversy that follows his legacy. He commissioned through the performance enhancing drug (PED) era in which he was accused of dragging his feet. After it gained media-wide attention he put in place stricter regulations for PED testing. There are other decisions from Selig which has made him polarizing or unpopular to certain fans. He placed much more importance on the All-Star game, making the mid-season exhibition game responsible for World Series home-field advantage. He’s also openly adopted instant replay which many think goes against the tradition of the game.
Many will remember Selig as the greatest commissioner the game has ever seen. He’s responsible for a tremendous amount of positive changes to baseball and it’s future is brighter than ever.