COOPERSTOWN, NY- On Sunday afternoon, Bud Selig was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. To a crowd filled with friends and family, Selig gave a speech on his journey through the world of baseball, his time with the Brewers, and his leadership as the ninth Commissioner of Baseball. Selig’s speech was over 18 minutes long, and took 32 drafts to complete. The intense work on the speech paid off, and Selig’s speech illustrated the hard work and success that he has seen over his long career in baseball.
Tom Haudricourt at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
As Bud Selig delivered his Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech Sunday afternoon, many of his friends and family were sitting front and center among the sizable crowd.
Seated on stage behind Selig was his new, extended family – those already admitted into the most exclusive club in baseball, including some of the greatest players in the game’s history. For someone whose path began as an excitable, avid young fan, it couldn’t have been more satisfying.
“This weekend, every Hall of Famer has been so warm with me,” Selig said before the ceremony at the Clark Sports Center. “I’ve known a lot of them for years, of course. The first thing they said was, ‘We’re proud that you’re now part of the family.’
“I heard that over and over again. In a great sense, I feel like I’m home.”
In his speech, Selig acknowledged those members of his new baseball family who traveled from far and wide to pay tribute to the new five-member class of inductees.
“I am honored to be in your presence,” said Selig, who was inducted on his 83rd birthday, the only Hall of Famer ever to go in on the date he was born. “On your shoulders, this game became part of the fabric of our country, and we are forever indebted to you.”
Selig was one of five inductees in the Class of 2017, joining longtime club executive and friend John Schuerholz as well as three former players, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.
During his 22 years as commissioner of baseball, Selig participated in every induction ceremony, handing out bronze plaques to honorees. On the receiving end of baseball immortality this time, he admitted the feeling was profoundly different.
“Now, as I stand here at this moment, I am humbled,” he said in his speech. “I am deeply honored to receive baseball’s highest honor. I stand here amongst many friends, including the great Henry Aaron, my friend of 59 years, and one of the best and most decent and dignified people I have ever known.”
Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.