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Commissioner

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The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball. The office was established in 1920. The current commissioner is Allan H. Selig.

Contents

[edit] History

The office was established in 1920 by the club owners of Major League Baseball, in order to reestablish confidence of fans in the sport following the Black Sox Scandal in the previous year. The Major Leagues already had an executive committee, the National Commission, which was established following the National Agreement of 1903.

The National League proposed to replacement the National Commission and replace it with one leader, a man "of unquestionable reputation and standing in fields other than baseball" whose "mere presence would assure that public interests would first be served, and that therefore, as a natural sequence, all exisiting evils would disappear." This proposal was called the Lasker Plan, named after, Albert Lasker, a stockholder in the Chicago Cubs. Five of the American League clubs initially balked at the idea, with only the New York, Chicago and Boston clubs agreeing with the Nationals. This sparked a bitter debate, and there were plans put forth for a New National League. Eventually a compromise was reached, and on November 12, 1920, the position of Baseball Commissioner was created with the ratification of the new Major League Agreement.

The title of "Commissioner" was derives from its predecessor, the National Commission.

It is said that former President of the United States George W. Bush once angled for the position.

[edit] Responsibilities

The commissioner is chosen by a vote of the owners of the teams. The commissioner hires and maintains the sport's crews of umpires, negotiates marketing, labor (Collective Bargaining Agreement), and television contracts. The commissioner also has the power to fine and suspend

[edit] Commissioners of Baseball

Commissioner Start of Term End of Term Years
Kenesaw Mountain Landis November 12, 1920 November 25, 1944 24
A.B. "Happy" Chandler April 24, 1945 July 15, 1951 7
Ford Frick September 20, 1951 November 16, 1965 14
William Eckert November 17, 1965 November 20, 1968 3
Bowie Kuhn February 4, 1969 September 30, 1984 16
Peter Ueberroth October 1, 1984 September 30, 1988 4
A. Bartlett Giamatti April 1, 1989 September 1, 1989 1
Fay Vincent September 13, 1989 September 7, 1992 3
Bud Selig September 7, 1992 see notes present -
  • Selig was formally appointed commissioner on July 2, 1998, before then he was the "acting commissioner"

[edit] Further Reading

  • Jerome Holtzman: The Commissioners: Baseball's Midlife Crisis, Total Sports Publishing, Kingston, NY, 1998.
  • Ron Kaplan: "The Commissiomer versus His Employer: Selig and His Predecessors", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 38, Number 1 (Summer 2009), pp. 123-124.
  • Larry Moffi: The Conscience of the Game: Baseball's Commissioners from Landis to Selig, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2006.
  • Andrew Zimbalist: In the Best Interests of Baseball ? The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Selig, John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ, 2006.
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