MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced on Thursday that he would step down as commissioner when his current term expires on Jan. 24, 2015. Selig has held the position since 1992, when he took over on an interim basis. He became the ninth commissioner six years later when he was unanimously elected to the position on a full-time basis in July 1998. The following statement from the current Commissioner was included in a press release which was issued when the announcement was made yesterday:
"It remains my great privilege to serve the game I have loved throughout my life. Baseball is the greatest game ever invented, and I look forward to continuing its extraordinary growth and addressing several significant issues during the remainder of my term.
"I am grateful to the owners throughout Major League Baseball for their unwavering support and for allowing me to lead this great institution. I thank our players, who give me unlimited enthusiasm about the future of our game. Together we have taken this sport to new heights and have positioned our national pastime to thrive for generations to come. Most of all, I would like to thank our fans, who are the heart and soul of our game."
In response the Mr. Selig's announcement, Washington Nationals Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner issued the following statement:
"I am confident that Bud Selig's legacy will be a standard by which all future commissioners will be measured. The Commissioner should be proud of the accomplishments under his strong leadership. His legacy will have many chapters: Labor, economics, technology, and community initiatives, to name a few. In Washington D.C., however, there is no greater legacy than the one he wrote by helping to return our national pastime to our nation's capital."
In late September 2004, the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, D.C. Mr. Selig issued the following statement when the relocation was officially announced:
"Washington, D.C., as our nation's capital, is one of the world's most important cities and Major League Baseball is gratified at the skill and perseverance shown by Mayor Williams throughout this long process," Selig said. "There has been tremendous growth in the Washington, D.C. area over the last 33 years and we in Major League Baseball believe that baseball will be welcomed there and will be a great success."
Two years later, in July of 2006, the Lerner family finalized the purchase of the franchise from Major League Baseball:
"I am extremely pleased to welcome the Lerner family and their partners into Major League Baseball," said Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "As I've come to know Ted and his family better over the past several weeks, I'm more certain than ever that they will provide the kind of committed and stable ownership that will help this franchise flourish in the D.C. area for years and years to come."
Mr. Selig was instrumental in bringing baseball back to the nation's capital. Sorry, Montreal.
It's not the first time Mr. Selig said he planned to step down. eMb.