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Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig To Retire After Next Season

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig in 2011.
Patrick McDermott
Getty Images
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig in 2011.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig will retire after the 2014 season, Major League Baseball said on Thursday.

"It remains my great privilege to serve the game I have loved throughout my life," Selig, 79, said, according to "Baseball is the greatest game ever invented, and I look forward to continuing its extraordinary growth and addressing several significant issues during the remainder of my term."

Selig had wanted to retire a couple of times before, but had been rebuffed by the owners. Selig became acting commissioner in 1992 and shortly thereafter moved the sport from a two-division format into a three-division one with a wild-card berth. Selig was also in charge as the steroids era got going and as baseball instituted reforms to curb doping.

Bleacher Report sums up Selig's tenure:

"Selig's tenure as commissioner has been an interesting one, as the landscape of baseball has changed constantly. The performance-enhancing drugs era ballooned under Selig's watch, but he has taken huge steps toward curtailing the issue in recent years, with the MLB now boasting what is arguably the most stringent PED policy in professional sports.

"He also instituted the wild card in 1994, and while there was initially some resistance from purists, it has become an accepted part of the game. Selig even added one wild card in each league last year, and time will tell if that is ultimately as successful as the initial advent.

"In addition to the wild card, Selig pushed through interleague play in 1997. That was yet another decision that was initially met with criticism, but it helped create new rivalries and provided fans with matchups that they had never seen before."

Selig will officially hand over the reins on Jan. 24, 2015.

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.