(This is part of a series of posts about the 2017 Hall of Fame inductions. Read them all here.)
The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017 is chock full of greatness. Set to take their rightful place among the other legends in Cooperstown are …
- One of the top 5 catchers of all time (Ivan Rodriguez) …
- One of the top 10 first basemen of all time (Jeff Bagwell) …
- One of the top handful of leadoff men and overall spark plugs of all time (Tim Raines) …
- One of the most successful team architects in history (John Schuerholz) …
… and Bud Selig.
As David Schoenfield writes at ESPN, it’s no surprise that Commissioner Bud got in considering that about half of all baseball commishes eventually do.
That’s not to say Selig is without his own merits, though.
A Distinguished Baseball Career
After all, consider Selig’s accomplishments in the game:
- Instrumental in bringing revenue sharing to baseball
- Helped rework division and league structures
- Pushed interleague play
- Expanded the playoffs
- Played key role in establishing World Baseball Classic
- Largely ineffective leader during strike that wiped out parts of two seasons and the 1994 World Series (sorry about that, Montreal Expos)
- Conspired, through his inaction, to bring PEDs to prominence in baseball
- Helped make sure Pete Rose would not get elected to the Hall of Fame
- Mastered the knee-jerk reaction, especially when it came to All-Star ties and steroids
- Lobbied (whined) for improved competitive balance
- Graciously transferred ownership of the Milwaukee Brewers — to his daughter — when he became Commissioner
- Graciously worked to vote out Commissioner Fay Vincent, who had suggested Selig and other owners colluded against free agents in 1987
- Nobly served as interim Commissioner until a permanent replacement for Vincent could be found
- Mercifully accepted the role of full-time Commissioner when he was deemed the best candidate
It’s an overwhelming record of service and commitment to baseball that few can match.
Indeed, Brutus … er … Bud is an honorable man.
And like most honorable diamond men, Selig eventually found his way to our cardboard realm.
First, you can find him in full (sometimes) autographed glory in the 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter’s set:
You can usually land this baby without signature for under $5, and even the signed variety will set you back less than $40 most of the time.
Then, just as the nation was trying to salve our wounds after Selig abdicated to Rob Manfred, Topps treated us to this 2016 First Pitch dandy:
Like the Allen & Ginter’s, you can get your copy for just a few bucks.
All in all, a couple of great Hall of Fame cards for a great Hall of Fame commissioner.
Hard to say how we ever got by without any of them.