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Brewers to erect a statue of Bud Selig. As they should.

Feb 8, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

Selig Brewers.jpgFrom the Brewers’ official PR Twitter account:


Brewers announce
it will honor MLB Commissioner & former owner Bud Selig with statue
at Miller Park’s Home Plate Plaza, unveil set for 8/24.

OK, first off, let’s put an end to the snark-fest that has already started.  You and I can could mock this if it was a statue dedicated to Bud Selig the Commissioner of Baseball. We could say things like this should be the pose in which the statue should be cast. We can say that no Commissioner who presided over the cancellation of a World Series should be honored. But that would be wrong. Why? Because Bud Selig was an owner first, this statue is to honor him as an owner and in that capacity he probably deserves it.

Selig was a minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves, who for a while there were beloved in Milwaukee.  When the majority owners started casting about to find a place to move the team, Selig worked in vain to keep them in town.  As soon as that effort failed, he formed a group to try and get Milwaukee another team. He managed to get the Pilots. And before you accuse Selig of being a team-stealer, remember that (a) the Pilots were going bankrupt there anyway; and (b) if the Pilots didn’t cease to be, “Ball Four” would be way less fun.

The Brewers were successful when he was an active owner. They played in a World Series. The city fell in love with them, and though that love has ebbed and flowed depending on the record, I’d wager that fan loyalty is greater in Milwaukee than it is in the majority of major league cities. This is a gut feeling but it’s backed up by anecdotal evidence.  For example, Jonah Keri just tweeted something interesting:

Went to Brewers game in 90s, Bud emerged from box during 7th inning stretch. EVERYONE started chanting BUD! BUD! Seriously.

Bud may be a cold fish. Bud may not be as great a commissioner as his supporters in the game and the media make him out to be.  But he’s Milwaukee’s cold fish commissioner, and there are people there who love the guy. And even if they don’t, they love the team he brought them and helped build into a winner.

Is that not statue-worthy? I kind of think it is.

  1. Old Gator - Feb 8, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    I cannot express, even given my narrative gifts, how badly I now want to come back as a pigeon in Wisconsin. Enlightenment and release from the rounds of samsara can wait one incarnation longer. What’s pigeon for a-a-a-h-h-h-h-h?

  2. BC - Feb 8, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    I actually like this pose better.
    http://jonathanshaffer.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/bud-selig-microphone-4251.jpg

  3. Alex Poterack - Feb 8, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Absolutely right. As a comissioner, Selig does plenty of things I don’t like, but I will always hold a certain amount of gratitude to him for practically single-handedly bringing my favorite team into existence.

  4. Jonny5 - Feb 8, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Personally myself ,i’m tired of people being memorialized in this manner for doing their job. Seriously though…… He was doing what he was paid to do, paid rather well I’m sure. All hail the guy who did his job!! Let’s raise statues in his honor!!!! pffft, I’d sooner kick a buck in to create a statue of Mr. Hankey.

  5. Charles Gates - Feb 8, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    I heard that the statue’s body will be facing whatever’s going on in the club house, but his head will be looking the other way.

  6. Jared - Feb 8, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Bud wasn’t an effective owner for the last dozen plus years with the team, but there wouldn’t be an MLB team in Milwaukee if it wasn’t for him. That’s why he’s getting a statue.
    And, personality and public speaking aside, I think he’s a heck of a lot better commissioner than he gets credits for, but that’s a whole different argument…

  7. Chris Simonds - Feb 8, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    “It’s my estimation that every man who got a statue made of him was one kind of sumbitch or another.”
    —– Malcolm Reynolds
    So yeh, by all means, put up a statue.

  8. moreflagsmorefun - Feb 8, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    He sold the team for hundreds of millions of dollars and he is getting a statue, WICKED COOL.

  9. BC - Feb 8, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    Any truth to the rumor that Sam Beauregarde of “Willy Wonka” fame was actually modelled after the Bud-ster?
    Maybe they could make a statue of Bud’s daughter instead? She’s relatively decent-looking….
    http://images.usatoday.com/sports/bbw/2002-07-11/seligs.jpg

  10. Alex Poterack - Feb 8, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Yeah, but she’s also generally regarded as the primary reason the Crew didn’t have a winning season from ’93-’06

  11. Greg - Feb 8, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    Only reason to erect a statue in Selig’s honor is too allow Pigeons a place to crap. The guys team had what 16 straight losing seasons. Besides all of that, no man deserves a statue in his honor. Like were suppossed to revere a man for owning a baseball team.

  12. BC - Feb 8, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    Sorry dude, MJ deserves the statue in Chicago.

  13. Ben - Feb 8, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    No mention that he is one of the two owners that has been most implicated in the collusion in the 1980s? Then again, maybe collusion benefited the Brewers. In any case, it was bad for baseball.
    One wonders how this statue will be viewed thirty or forty years from now, once we have some perspective on the Selig era. That’s why I think it’s a mistake to evaluate erecting the statue only on the basis of his term as owner of the Brewers. Very few people are going to view it that way; more likely, they will view it as an endorsement of his run as commissioner. It’s fairly analogous to Los Angeles County building a statue of Richard Nixon to honor his time in the House of Representatives; people would rightly view it in its whole context, with many criticizing a decision to celebrate the disgraced ex-President.
    Not that Selig is disgraced… yet.

  14. ta192 - Feb 8, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    Barf!

  15. T.R. Hendricks - Feb 8, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    Calling all Pigeons, Calling all Pigeons……

  16. Omega in Colorado - Feb 8, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    When’s it done, I am traveling to Milwaukee specifically to have my picture taken with it. Just for the Bizarro World quality of it, I am not a Selig or Brewers fan by any stretch of the imagination.

  17. BaseballFan2 - Feb 8, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    Ridiculous. What he did for one team seems like a drop in the bucket considering all the crap he allowed to go on while serving as commissioner. His bungling of the steroid era is a more enduring legacy. What kind of monument should we build for that?

  18. inthebuff - Feb 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    This is ridiculous. There’s no statue of Art Model in front of Raven’s stadium. There’s no statue of Walter O’Malley at Dodgers’ Stadium. There shouldn’t be a statue of those people who break the hearts of one city to enamor themselves with others.
    Read this guy’s take on it:
    http://www.baseballink.com/

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