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Bud Selig

Criticism Of Selig Grows

In the eight years between the 1994 strike and the threatened strike of 2002, Selig did little to redeem himself in the eyes of the media, players, and baseball fans. His stock among ball club owners even began to erode. Although some of his ideas appeared to make good sense, it seemed somehow that Selig had become the man to hate, and nothing he did could reverse his dramatic decline in popularity. After the World Series in 2001, Selig announced that it might be necessary to eliminate two or more teams in order to ensure the survival of Major League Baseball. Then came his disastrous decision to end the 2002 All-Star Game after the 11th inning. Among players, Selig won few fans with his continuing push for routine drug testing. By the end of the 2002 baseball season, calls for Selig to step down had reached a fever pitch.

Selig, a man who once said that he wanted more than anything to be liked, seemed to be holding up well in the face of the almost universal approbation he was facing early in the new millennium. Whether he draws strength from his lifelong love of the game he now administers or from a firm conviction in the rightness of his ideas, we can only speculate. But it doesn't look like Selig has plans of stepping down anytime soon.

Selig and his wife, the former Suzanne Lappin Steinman, have two daughters, Sari and Wendy. Away from baseball, both he and his wife are involved in a wide variety of humanitarian and charitable causes, including the Milwaukee Brewers Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Fund, which Selig co-founded in December 1987.

Related Biography: Commissioner Fay Vincent

Fay Vincent, the commissioner of baseball replaced by Bud Selig, says he harbors no hard feelings against his successor, at least not personally. But he has had some harsh words for Selig's leadership abilities—or lack thereof.

Vincent, deputy commissioner under Bart Giamatti, was swept into the commissioner's office after Giamatti died suddenly of a heart attack in September 1989. He ran afoul of the baseball club owners almost from the start but particularly angered them with his decision to restructure major league baseball's four divisions into six. Selig worked with others to oust Vincent and succeeded in September 1992.

He was born Francis Thomas Vincent Jr. in Waterbury, Connecticut, on May 29, 1938. Known almost from birth as "Fay," the Irish nickname for Francis, Vincent received his bachelor's degree from Williams College in 1960 and then attended Yale University Law School, graduating in 1963. From 1963 to 1978, he was a corporate attorney in New York and Washington, D.C. In 1978 he served as associate director of corporate finance for the Securities and Exchange Commission. From 1978 until 1988 he was chairman and chief operating officer of Columbia Pictures Industries. He came to Major League Baseball as deputy commissioner and COO in 1989. Vincent is married to the former Valerie McMahon, with whom he has three children: Anne and twins William and Edward.

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