Allan H. "Bud" Selig will retire as MLB Commissioner in 2015, the league announced Thursday.
Selig, who has been commissioner since 1992, will step down after his current term ends Jan. 24, 2015. "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," said Selig through a statement.
Selig presided over baseball during a very transformative time. During his commissionership, the league expanded its playoffs twice and introduced interleague play. He was instrumental in the creation of the World Baseball Classic, an Olympic-style tournament that's helped to globalize the game. Expansion to Arizona and Tampa Bay also happened under Selig.
In what will end up as one of his final acts, Selig helped to secure new media rights with its TV partners Fox, ESPN and Turner, with price increases of over 100%, which go into effect next season.
Selig's full statement is below:
"It remains my great privilege to serve the game I have loved throughout my life. 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.
"I am grateful to the owners throughout Major League Baseball for their unwavering support and for allowing me to lead this great institution. I thank our players, who give me unlimited enthusiasm about the future of our game. Together we have taken this sport to new heights and have positioned our national pastime to thrive for generations to come. Most of all, I would like to thank our fans, who are the heart and soul of our game."
Selig had been hinting tin recent years he would step away, but Thursday marks the official announcement.