Former baseball commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig, who was booed at the end of the 2002 All-Star Game in his hometown of Milwaukee and was widely blamed for the cancellation of the World Series eight years earlier, found redemption in the economic renaissance of the sport over the past two decades.
Selig was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday by the 16-member Today's Game Era Committee that is an offshoot of the old Veterans Committee that nominates deserving non-playing personnel and players who were passed over during Baseball Writers Association of America election period.
He will be inducted along with Baltimore native John Schuerholz and any players elected by the BBWAA at Cooperstown, N.Y. on July 30, which also is Selig's 83rd birthday.
No doubt, the choice will be controversial to some. Selig was commissioner for much of baseball's steroid era and received criticism for not addressing the problem until it became a national scandal. He responded by commissioning the Mitchell Report to shed light on the problem and won stiff testing protocols in collective bargaining with the Major League Players Association.
He was also viewed as one of the main villains in the 1994-95 labor war that wiped out the final two months of the '94 season and forced the cancellation of the playoffs and World Series.
The decision to declare the All-Star Game a tie in 2002 placed Selig in front of an angry crowd at Miller Park in Milwaukee, but he moved decisively to change the way the Midsummer Classic would be played over the next 14 years. Home-field advantage in the World Series was awarded to the winner of the game, forcing the managers to treat it as more than just an star-studded exhibition game.
That connection will be severed in the new labor agreement that was reached last week and replaced with prize money for the winning players.
Though it took some time for fans to warm back up to Selig, he was always popular with the baseball owners he represented, who named him acting commissioner in 1992 and gave him the permanent role in 1998. He would retire in 2015 and be replaced by former MLB counsel Rob Manfred.
During his tenure, baseball's revenues quadrupled, in spite of his failure to force the union to accept a salary cap during the 1994-95 labor dispute.
He also presided over the addition of a wild-card playoff round, interleague play and the creation of the World Baseball Classic.
There might be some grumbling about his quick election to the Hall of Fame, but it's going to be very hard to argue that he did not have an enormous impact on the sport.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, who began his career in baseball working for the Milwaukee Brewers when the team was owned by Selig, didn't have any mixed feelings about Selig's pending induction.
"That's great,'' Duquette said. "He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He's a fantastic executive, and it was a privilege to me to be able to learn a lot of baseball and business from him when I started out in Milwaukee. It's a terrific honor for him."