“A little boy’s dreams come true:” Bud Selig looks forward to his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame

Bud Selig

COOPERSTOWN, New York — Bud Selig brought the Brewers to Milwaukee, kept them here, and then went on to run the league. On Sunday, July 30th, he’ll forever be a part of baseball history in Cooperstown, New York. FOX6’s Kaitlin Sharkey sat down one-on-one with Selig just days before he’s inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“I say this, and everybody in their own town will say this, but bringing a team back here against really insurmountable odds in 1970 will always be the thing I’m most proud of. Proud of a lot of other things, but I’m really proud of that,” Selig said.

Sharkey: “Many people thank you for the Brewers. Who do you thank for helping orchestrate that and come to life?”

“I had a lot of help. I had a lot of wonderful people, a lot of civic leaders that worked with me. I was just a kid, just 29 years old, so what a challenge this was and baseball didn’t wanna come back here, so it’s just an amazing story, but I had a lot of great help here from community leaders, so it was quite the story and the night of March 31st, 1970 we got it, and the rest is history,” Selig said.

Bud Selig

Sharkey: “Was it different or hard for you to balance the critiques and the criticism from the rest of the nation as a commissioner while you were being loved so much here in Milwaukee?”

“Well it was tough, but all commissioners go through tough periods. The one thing you have to understand and Adam Silver and Roger Goodell certainly, and Rob Manfred understand when you’re a commissioner, you can’t please everybody.  When I took over as commissioner, the sport was really stuck in neutral. It needed a new system. I’m proud of the wild card and all the inter-league play and all the other things that have happened. Yes I took a lot of criticism in the 90s, but you know, the last 12, 14 years, I was commissioner that was virtually gone, but yeah, it was tough in the 90s. Did I like it? No. Nobody likes getting pounced all over the place, but if you believe in what you’re doing, you just have to go and do it and baseball today is more popular today than ever before and does better today than ever before,” Selig said.

Bud Selig

Bud Selig

Sharkey: “As this is a time of reflection as you’re going into the Hall of Fame, are there things that you think…do you think about what you could’ve done differently or do you focus on, ‘this is what I did. This is what I’ve done?'”

Bud Selig

“My students will ask me on occasion and I can tell you I got done everything that I wanted to. Is everything perfect? No. I don’t wanna tell you that and it isn’t but you can’t believe the difference in baseball in 1992 when I left and today — Rob Manfred has done an extraordinary job, so no, I feel really good about what I did and it was a period of the most change in baseball history,” Selig said.

Sharkey: “You’ve kinda hit all the marks in your career, all the milestone,s especially now with the Hall of Fame, what’s next?”

“Well, I don’t know. I love teaching, and I love all the things I’m doing, but I have to say to you, after getting into the Hall of Fame, it’s pretty hard to top that. I’m so honored and so flattered. I get back to what I said earlier — I’m overwhelmed,” Selig said.

Sharkey: “You have dreams as a child, but this has to be, one that, you could never dream this could you?”

“The last night I was commissioner I was in New York at the Baseball Writers dinner and read my speech and I don’t know why I said this at the end but ‘what you see here is a little boy’s dreams that did come true.’ When I sat down, Sandy, the great Sandy Colfax was sitting next to me and he said ‘you just made me cry.’ But it’s true,” Selig said.