Ex-MLB commish Bud Selig throws out 1st pitch for Brewers
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Bud Selig can root openly for his favorite team now that he is no longer baseball commissioner.
The Brewers’ former owner threw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday before Milwaukee’s opener against Colorado.
Winding up from about 10 feet in front of the mound, the 82 year-old right-hander threw a ball high and outside to honorary catcher Mark Attanasio, who bought the team from Selig’s family in 2005.
“Bud’s got this kind of changeup,” Attanasio said with a smile.
The Brewers have honored Selig with a bronzed statue in front of Miller Park, along with an interactive exhibit at the stadium that chronicles Selig’s efforts to bring baseball back to Milwaukee. Selig will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer.
Selig headed the group that bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court and moved the franchise to Milwaukee ahead of the 1970 season. He helped lead the group of owners that forced Commissioner Fay Vincent’s resignation in September 1992, then was put in charge of baseball as chairman of the executive council. He became commissioner in July 1998 and held the role until January 2015.
Selig said that he had to convince himself that he could be objective when he took the leadership role after “having founded the Brewers and lived every day of its existence.”
“But there’s no doubt whom I’m rooting for today, or any other day,” Selig said.
The Brewers are in their second full year of rebuilding under Attanasio and general manager David Stearns. Selig applauded the overhaul, pointing to the success of the World Series champion and NL Central-rival Chicago Cubs as an example of how fortunes change after a rebuild.
“Branch Rickey, 67 years ago, he was one of my great heroes, and he always said it would take three to five years. He was right and he’d be right today,” Selig said. “It doesn’t happen overnight. My father used to say, ‘If it were easy, everybody would do it.’ And so I’m proud of what they’re doing and I think the fans will respond well.”
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