Selig says time is right to tell his story in upcoming book
Bud Selig fielded the same question almost daily as he wound down his 23-year tenure as MLB commissioner: When are you writing a book?
Usually Selig would laugh off the inquiries. This self-described history buff had little desire to write about his life.
Selig’s stance changed as he prepared to step down from his commissioner role in 2015, and he eventually embraced the idea. Now several years in the making, his autobiography is almost ready for print.
“For the Good of the Game: The Inside Story of the Surprising, Dramatic Transformation of Major League Baseball” will be published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, on July 9, the same day as MLB’s All-Star Game.
“Gradually, over a period of time, I came to the conclusion that I ought to write a book,” Selig said. “Sometimes when you’re away from things, you get a little bit different perspective.”
The book is not completely finished, but Selig expects it to be published at about 350 pages.
“It’s about my own career, it’s about baseball, it’s about sports, it’s about life,” he said. “There are some interesting political stories. There’s my own analysis of events, like the steroid issue.”
Selig said his book will not shy from addressing controversies, specifically referencing the steroid scandal that rocked MLB through the 1990s and early 2000s.
“There’s been a lot of mythology about that from a lot of people who either don’t understand or don’t have the facts,” he said. “People accused us of being slow to react. It’s just not true. It’s one of these historical myths. We go into great detail on that.”
He also addresses other decisions that were unpopular at the time he made them, from expanding the playoffs to allowing interleague play.
“You come to find in life that nobody likes change,” he said. “Remember when we did the Wild Card? There was a huge uproar about how we were going to ruin the game. I guess it worked out pretty well, didn’t it?”
A significant part of the book will address Selig’s role in changing baseball’s economic structure, which included his introduction of revenue sharing.
The Montag Group’s Sandy Montag, who works with Selig on speaking engagements, helped the MLB commissioner emeritus find a publisher for his book.
“We felt that HarperCollins — their interest and their specific love of baseball put them over the top,” Montag said.
Doris Kearns Goodwin, a longtime friend of Selig’s, wrote a foreword for the book.
Ultimately, the book took more than four years to report and write. Phil Rogers did most of the heavy lifting. Sports journalist Richard Justice started out writing the book before eventually passing it over to Rogers. Baseball executive Charles Steinberg also helped.