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01/14/2014

Coming to the Ballpark in Arlington - Bud Selig!

This is not possible - Bud Selig is 80.

Eight. Zero. The man looks in his 60s. Maybe having just that much money and security really is good for your health.

The former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers and the long time commish of Major League Baseball is retiring after the 2014 season. He told ESPN's Jayson Stark that he has no plans to change his mind, and will be stepping down in January of 2015.

Large_selig2What began as an "interim" job has lasted 22 years, second only in duration to Kenesaw Mountain Landis' 24-year tenure in the early 20th century.

Selig's effectiveness as baseball's commissioner can be debated - on his watch he "enjoyed" the first cancellation of the World Series because of labor unrest, the steroid era - and the absolute proliferation of money.

New stadiums popped up all over the United States, MLB was the first league to embrace the Google Thingy, the league went abroad, more playoff teams were added, TV contracts went to Pluto, and everybody from the players to the bat boys got rich.

In this his final season, Selig is going to make like Mariano Rivera. Not sure if Selig's popularity, or respect, comes close to that of the recently retired New York Yankees closer, but Bud told Stark he has a lot of people to thank.

If you don't recall, in Rivera's final season he made it a point to meet fans, clubhouse people and went out of his way to thank all anybody he possibly could in every visiting park he visited. Selig wants to do the same.

You may think Bud is a bit of a bufoon in terms of PR (he is), but he is also a decent, kind and sincerely gracious man. Having met him a few times, his passion and love for baseball are genuine. He is a businessman who loves baseball.

Whenever he comes to the Ballpark in Arlington during the season, and if you can, he's worth a visit to shake his hand and let him tell you 'Thanks.' He means it.

Twitter @MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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