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Baseball Starts Search for Commissioner Bud Selig’s Replacement

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has formed a seven-member search committee of team owners and executives to help select his successor following two decades of stewardship.

Selig, 79, said in September that he planned to retire after the 2014 season, ending a tenure that included the sport’s steroid scandal and an era of labor peace after losing the 1994 World Series to a players strike.

The committee to find baseball’s next commissioner will be led by St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr., MLB announced today at MLB’s quarterly owners meetings in New York. Other owners on the search committee include David Montgomery of the Philadelphia Phillies, Jerry Reinsdorf of the Chicago White Sox, Arte Moreno of the Los Angeles Angels, Jim Pohlad of the Minnesota Twins, Bob Nutting of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Dick Monfort of the Colorado Rockies, MLB said in a statement.

Rob Manfred, who seven months ago was promoted to MLB’s chief operating officer from executive vice president for economics and league affairs, is among the candidates to take over as commissioner when Selig steps down Jan. 24, 2015, when his contract expires.

MLB executive vice presidents Tim Brosnan and Joe Torre are also considered possible successors. Brosnan oversees all of baseball’s domestic and international business functions including licensing, sponsorship and broadcasting, while Torre, the former manager of the New York Yankees, is now MLB’s vice president of baseball operations.

Acting Commissioner

Selig, who owned the Milwaukee Brewers, became acting commissioner in 1992 following the resignation of Fay Vincent. He was voted into the position on a permanent basis by league owners in 1998 and, in his 23nd season, is second in tenure behind Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first commissioner, who led the sport from 1920 to 1944.

Selig oversaw the realignment of teams into three divisions in each league, the creation of interleague play and the expansion of the playoffs with wild-card entries for top non-division winners. He also helped baseball rebound from the 1994 strike and implemented U.S. professional sports’ most comprehensive drug program through collective bargaining following an era of performance-enhancing substance abuse that led to congressional inquiries.

Selig previously delayed a planned retirement by signing a two-year contract extension in January 2012. That came two months after MLB and its players’ union reached a five-year collective bargaining agreement, guaranteeing 21 straight years without a strike or lockout in a sport that had eight work stoppages since 1972.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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