A life-long fan of baseball, Selig parlayed his off-field business success into baseball ownership. His political skills have come into use many times during his career, from moving a team to Milwaukee to working through many of baseball’s current issues.
Selig was named interim commissioner in 1992 and six years later became baseball’s ninth commissioner.
A successful Wisconsin car dealer, Selig purchased the bankrupt Seattle Pilots for a reported $10.8-million in 1970. Selig then moved the team to Milwaukee, the modern-day Brewers.
The move returned baseball to Milwaukee after the Braves departed for Atlanta in 1965. Selig had been the largest public stockholder in the Braves until he sold his shares when the team moved. Upon learning of the Braves' intended move to Atlanta, Selig founded "Teams, Inc." an organization dedicated to returning major league baseball to Milwaukee.
When Selig was named commissioner, his daughter Wendy took over as acting president of the Brewers and Selig’s interest in the team was placed in a trust.
In 2002, Selig engineered a labor agreement with the players that avoided a work stoppage and provided economic concessions to small market teams that typically carry smaller payrolls. The agreement has been credited with returning competitive balance to baseball.
After Congressional Hearings in 2005, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association reached an agreement to expand drug testing to include random, year-round testing and harsher penalties. The agreement targets illegal steroids and performance enhancing substances.
Other Selig changes include the implementation of new rules designed to speed up the game and added playoff rounds. Selig also started interleague play, in which teams from the National League and American League face each other in the regular season. Selig started a policy in which the winning All-Star Game team secures home field advantage for its league in the World Series.
In 1994, Selig failed to resolve a labor dispute between owners and players that led to the cancellation of the World Series.
Selig has signed a contract through the 2012 season.