Commissioner Bud Selig will formally announce his retirement at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
The retirement will take effect in January 2015.
Selig, 79, has insisted he will retire following the 2014 season for some time now. It’s not the first time he’s hinted at retirement either. Selig announced he would retire following the 2009 season back in 2006. He then signed a new three-year contract in 2008 and said he will retire following 2012. A new two-year contract following that.
The league has 15-16 months to find a replacement for Selig, which won’t be all that easy. Former Cubs, Twins and Orioles executive Andy MacPhail, MLB executive Joe Torre and Mets GM Sandy Alderson have been rumored as possible replacements over the years.
Selig became the acting commissioner after Fay Vincent was voted out in 1992. He was permanently named commissioner in 1998. Selig was a minority owner in the Milwaukee Braves before purchasing the bankrupt Seattle Pilots franchise in 1970, and moving them to Milwaukee to become the Brewers.
Major League Baseball has grown substantially under Selig’s watch, both financially and in terms of popularity.
There are also more teams and playoff spots—he implemented the original wild-card system as well as the new two wild-card system—than ever before. There is also unprecedented labor peace between the owners and players’ union.
Of course, Selig’s tenure is not without its black marks. He represented MLB during the 1994 strike and cancelled the World Series for the first and only time in history. Selig also presided over the so-called Steriod Era, which led to the toughest PED testing system in the four major sports.