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Selig's proudest legacy is economic stability

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COOPERSTOWN, NY -

The first mention of MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig's name at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown on Sunday was welcomed with a smattering of applause muffled by a chorus of boos.  Although, Selig had yet to take the stage.  When he did finally make his first appearance, there were a few boos mixed in with respectful applause.  

Any commissioner, past or present, is sure to make as many enemies as friends among the fans of his sport, and whether it's the blind-eye turned to the PED scandals of the late 90s or his famous shrug in trying to figure out how best to end the 2002 All-Star Game that went to extra innings, there are plenty of reasons for fans to dislike Selig.  But there are just as many reasons why that disdain is undeserved.  Selig brought about the Wild Card, Interleague Play, retired Jackie Robinson's #42 across all of baseball, he brought about drug testing following the Steroid Era, and in the wake of the 1994 Players Strike he helped bring about the longest period of continued play without a work stoppage in history which still continues today.  With 22 years as the top man in the sport, none of those are his proudest achievement.

"The economic reformation in the game, the revenue sharing, all the rules I talked about [Sunday]," Selig said after the ceremony on Sunday.  "The game was in deep trouble in '92 because we didn't have any parity.  We were in what I call 'the lack of hope and faith.'  I knew it was going to be painful, I knew it was going to be lengthy, but I am proud of that because there are multiple team owners that have said to me 'if you didn't do what you did in the early-to-mid '90s, we wouldn't be in business today.'  So that's what I'm most proud of."

Selig celebrated his 83rd birthday by being inducted into the Hall on Sunday.  He said that that surpassed his previous favorite birthday, his 15th.