|© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Commissioner Selig's contract extended through 201201/17/2008 2:25 PM ET
SCOTTSDALE -- Major League Baseball Club owners voted unanimously at their quarterly meetings to extend the contract of Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig through the 2012 season, it was announced today.
Selig has led the industry since September 9, 1992, first as interim Commissioner and then as the ninth Commissioner, a position to which he was elected on July 9, 1998.
"My optimism about the future of Major League Baseball has never been greater," Commissioner Selig said. "Through the hard work of many, our great game has made many meaningful strides. We have achieved unprecedented labor peace, competitive balance, record attendance, business performance and exciting international growth. I am truly grateful for the incredible fan interest that the game has inspired. This is a golden age for our national pastime.
"What will continue to be paramount to me is the protection of the integrity of the game. Major League Baseball unconditionally embraces its enormous social responsibilities. The sport faces important challenges, and we will not rest until they have been met."
The Executive Council unanimously placed the Commissioner's extension in nomination before the assembled owners.
George M. Steinbrenner III, the principal owner of the New York Yankees, said: "In my 35 years in the game, baseball has never had better leadership than it does right now. Bud's ability to bring people together has steered the game to remarkable popularity and prosperity, and I am very pleased that he will carry on as Commissioner for the next five years."
William O. DeWitt, Jr., the Chairman of the Board and General Partner of the St. Louis Cardinals, said: "Commissioner Selig remains the perfect choice to lead our industry, to maintain the extraordinary heights that the game has reached and to continue its growth. The Commissioner's passion and reverence for the game resonate as strongly as ever, and those are the very qualities that have driven the game to its current popularity, which is also greater than ever."
Added Houston Astros Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Drayton McLane: "Bud Selig has brought much needed leadership and stability to the Commissioner's Office and has advanced the game in ways that many had believed to be impossible. He is the best Commissioner the game has ever had and his record of accomplishment will continue to grow in the years ahead. Baseball is fortunate to have him."
Having presided over the sport since 1992, Selig already has the second longest term of any Commissioner in baseball history. Only Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who held office from 1921-1944, served longer. This marks the third three-year extension for Commissioner Selig. The previous extensions from the Major League Clubs came on November 27, 2001 and August 19, 2004.
Major League Baseball has now set its single-season attendance record for four consecutive seasons, culminating in 79,503,175 fans in 2007. Gross revenues have increased from $1.6 billion in 1992 to $6.075 billion in 2007, a rise of 280 percent.
Among Commissioner Selig's accomplishments are the following:
By the end of the current collective bargaining agreement (expiring in December 2011), baseball will have gone 16 years without a strike or a lockout, the longest period of labor peace since the inception of the collective bargaining relationship.
In August 2002, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association successfully concluded negotiations for a new labor pact without a work stoppage for the first time in more than 30 years.
In November 2005, MLB and the MLBPA agreed to a 50-game suspension for a first-time offender of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. A second offense draws a 100-game suspension and a third offense calls for a lifetime ban. The agreement also provided for random testing for amphetamines for the first time.
MLB has entered into collaborations with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Partnership for Clean Competition, a new effort by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Significant economic reforms - including the debt-service rule, the expansion of revenue sharing and the introduction of the luxury tax - have dramatically improved competitive balance. There have been seven different World Series Champions over the last eight seasons. Since 2002, 10 different Clubs have earned the 12 available World Series berths. Over the last two years alone, half (15) of the 30 Major League Clubs have earned the 16 postseason berths.
The implementation of the Wild Card, the six-division format and Interleague Play has proven enormously popular with baseball fans.
By the opening of the 2008 season, 16 new ballparks will have opened during his time in office, while other clubs have plans for new ballparks in development.
In 2006, MLB and the MLBPA partnered to hold the inaugural World Baseball Classic, the most important international baseball event ever ventured.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.