As commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig is a controversial man. Considering that, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see some of the online backlash to Monday’s news that Selig will be honored with a statue outside Miller Park. Someone I know even told me that he hopes pigeons from Montreal paint the statue white for forcing the Expos to Washington. It probably doesn’t help that one of Selig’s most infamous moments as commissioner also happened at Miller Park in front of a live national audience.
I can understand that. I’m right there with most of you on a lot of the things he mishandled as the commish. But this statue has nothing to do with his term as commissioner, and everything to do with the fact that without him, there would be no baseball in Milwaukee.
He was so heartbroken when the Braves left town that he attempted to buy the Chicago White Sox with the intention of moving them to Milwaukee. He reached an agreement to buy the club, but the sale was vetoed by American League owners because they wanted to keep an AL club in the Windy City. Despite the letdown, he didn’t give up and decided to purchase the bankrupt Seattle Pilots and move them East. The Brewers were born, and under his watch, the organization won seven Organization of the Year awards.
For that, the man deserves a statue next to Hank Aaron and Robin Yount, two other Milwaukee baseball legends.
Yes, things got rocky for him when he took over the commissionership and they got rocky for the club (and its fans) when his daughter Wendy took control. But the statue should serve as a reminder of all the good he’s done for Milwaukee baseball. People outside Milwaukee can laugh all they want, but if Bud Selig is going to be honored anywhere, it’s going to be in Milwaukee, and it’s going to be a well-deserved honor.