For last 22 years, Major League Baseball (MLB) has seen it’s fair share of ups and downs. For every Mariano Rivera, there’s a John Rocker, for every Joe Torre, there’s a Bobby Valentine, and for every home run record, there’s a steroid claim. Through all those good times and bad times, the one constant has been Bud Selig, the oft maligned commissioner of “America’s Favorite Pastime.”
On Thursday afternoon, Selig, commissioner since 1992, announced he would retire as planned when his contract expires at the end of the 2014 season. He will be 80 years old. “Bud,” real name Allan Huber Selig, has left quite a mark on this game. He had to deal with a player strike, a steroid scandal, a tied All-Star game, more steroids, shady deals with owners, and even more steroids. To be fair, Selig also introduced the wildcard, interleague play, instant replay, the World Baseball Classic, and Jackie Robinson Day (April 15th), all these are considered successes.
While Selig says the 2014 season is his last, he has said it before, In fact he was supposed to retire in 2009 and again in 2012. We will have to wait and see if 2014 will be the year he finally walks away, but one thing is for sure, baseball will never forget the “Reign of Bud.”