Selig, Allan H.

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SELIG, ALLAN H. ("Bud "; 1934– ), U.S. baseball commissioner. Originally a highly successful auto dealer in his hometown of Milwaukee, Selig first became involved in professional baseball in 1963 as the largest stockholder of the publicly owned Milwaukee Braves. Two years later the Braves left for Atlanta, and the disappointed Selig formed an organization dedicated to bringing baseball back to Milwaukee. An exceptional opportunity arose when the expansion Seattle Pilots failed in their maiden 1969 season, and Selig led a consortium of investors in purchasing, and promptly moving, the Pilots to Milwaukee for the 1970 season and renaming them the Brewers. Over the next two decades, the Brewers organization would be given an award seven times for excellence in management. When in September 1992 Commissioner Fay Vincent resigned, fellow baseball owners turned to the now senior Selig to act as interim commissioner via his new role as chairman of the Executive Council. Six years later, Selig was elected by his peers to become the official ninth commissioner of Major League Baseball. During his 14 years as acting and official commissioner through 2005, Selig was involved in a number of turbulent episodes, including a 272-day strike in 1994 and 1995, which saw the cancellation of the 1994 World Series, the early termination of the 2002 extra-inning All-Star Game because of a lack of pitchers, and the steroids controversy which exploded in 2005. Among the major changes implemented by Selig during his tenure were interleague play, revenue sharing between big and small market clubs, the institution of the three-division format in each league, and the creation of wild card berths along with an extra tier of playoffs. In recognition of his efforts on behalf both of baseball and various causes, Selig was the recipient of a plethora of awards and honors, including the 2003 Jewish Foundation for the Righteous Recognition of Goodness Award, the 2001 Sports Torch of Learning Award from the American Friends of the Hebrew University, the 1994 Anti-Defamation League's World of Difference Award, the 1993 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the 1989 August A. Busch Jr. Award (equivalent to the mvp award), the 1983 U.S. Olympic Committee Sportsman of the Year Award, and the 1981 International B'nai B'rith Sportsman of the Year Award. In July 2001, Selig created an endowment to establish the Allan H. and Suzanne L. Selig Merit Scholarship Fund at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

[Robert B. Klein (2nd ed.)]