For the first time in more than 20 years, Major League Baseball has a new commissioner.
Yesterday, Rob Manfred was elected unanimously by MLB's owners, 30-0, to take over for current commissioner Bud Selig. Selig will retire at the end of the year after entering the commissioner's office in 1998. (From 1992-1998, Selig was chairman of MLB's executive council.)
Manfred is currently MLB's Chief Operating Officer. But as of January 25, he'll be the game's 10th commissioner.
"I'm tremendously honored by the confidence the owners showed in me. I have very big shoes to fill," Manfred said. "There is no question that I would not be standing here today if it were not for Bud. And I hope I will perform in a way that adds to his great legacy."
Manfred joined Major League Baseball in 1998. His primary role was overseeing relations between the league and its owners and the MLB Players Association. After being promoted to COO last year, most thought he was the odds on favorite to succeed Selig as commissioner.
The 80-year-old Selig announced last September that the 2014 season would be his last. MLB organized a committee to find his replacement, ultimately settling on three finalists: Manfred; Tim Brosnan, the league's executive vice president of business; and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.
When voting among the owners began today, Brosnan dropped out. With the race down to two men, one needed 23 of 30 votes to become the next commissioner. Manfred earned 22 votes in each of the first two rounds of voting.
In the third, he got 23, which prompted the owners who voted against him to switch sides to make the final count unanimous. And baseball had it's next leader.
"I've worked with Rob for a long time. He's had great experience," Selig said. "The last couple years, he's dealt with every area and I've given him many tasks, some of them not very pleasant, quite frankly. But he's done them well and there's no doubt in my mind he has the training, the temperament and the experience to be a very, very successful commissioner."
Read more about Manfred's selection as the 10th Major League Baseball commissioner on si.com.