This weekend’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony could leave Minnesota Twins fans feeling uneasy.
Even though the Minnesota Twins do not have any players or former team officials being elected to the Hall of Fame on Sunday. However, one of the people being honored at Cooperstown is sure to raise conflicted feelings with many Minnesota Twins fans.
Allan Huber “Bud” Selig served as the 9th commissioner of baseball from 1998-2015. He was the acting commissioner from 1992-1998 before being made official.
Selig originally joined baseball ownership when he purchased the Seattle Pilots and brought them to Milwaukee, renaming the team the Brewers, after the former minor league team that had once played in the city. Selig’s stature among his fellow owners and within a “small market” of Milwaukee earned him respect that earned him the job of acting commissioner when Fay Vincent was pushed out by the owners.
Selig had a controversial run as commissioner, overseeing the 1994 strike, the steroid era, but also two expansions, the implementation of the World Baseball Classic and historic revenues in the game along with expansion/development of the technological wing of the league office, which is considered among the finest in all of professional sports.
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After the 2001 season, with the nation reeling from the 9/11 attacks, Selig dropped a bomb on the fans of the Minnesota Twins. Plans were being made to contract two teams. One team would be the Montreal Expos, and the other was to be from among a number of other options, but the team that ended up being most prominently figured in due to the relationship of Selig with Twins owner Carl Pohlad was the Minnesota Twins.
Things went so far in this plan that Peter Gammons even reported what the likely draft order would be for a contraction draft when the two teams were dispersed. Remember that in 2001, Twins fans had just lost their long-time manager, Tom Kelly, who was revered within the organization, but they had a team that was on the precipice of a run of divisional titles with a young, talented team that would key the return of fan interest in Minnesota Twins baseball.
If Selig’s contraction plans had gone through, the Twins would never have had their 2002-2010 run with six division titles and eight winning seasons in those nine years. It’s hard to celebrate the guy who would have taken that this weekend as a Twins fan…