MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' 1982 reunion weekend doubled as a send-off for club founder Bud Selig, whose next stop is Cooperstown, N.Y. and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.Selig will be inducted Sunday, July 30 -- his 83rd birthday -- mostly for his role as the ninth Commissioner of Major
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' 1982 reunion weekend doubled as a send-off for club founder Bud Selig, whose next stop is Cooperstown, N.Y. and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Selig will be inducted Sunday, July 30 -- his 83rd birthday -- mostly for his role as the ninth Commissioner of Major League Baseball. He now holds the title of Commissioner Emeritus, but in his hometown he is better known as the man who brought baseball back to Milwaukee in 1970, and later fought the legislative battle to build Miller Park. Fans gave Selig a standing ovation during a pregame ceremony Saturday honoring the '82 American League Champions.
"I guess now that he's retired he's allowed to root for us again," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "That's the best part. I think he's stated that, actually. That's cool."
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio will lead a contingent of more than a dozen club officials to Cooperstown later this month. Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers and Bob Uecker, who have plaques in the Hall of Fame themselves, will naturally be part of the group.
"He's got a passion for this team, to the point where he showed up here many times when he shouldn't have been here. Hiding out upstairs to come out here and watch the club play," Uecker said with a laugh. "He's a Brewer, that's what he is. He can talk about all of his other duties, but if he's on the road someplace, he's calling here constantly to find out what's going on."
In fact, Selig called Attanasio Saturday night. He was driving home, listening to the game on the radio, when Travis Shaw hit his go-ahead home run in the eighth inning of the Brewers' 3-2 win. Selig circled his block while Corey Knebel recorded the final three outs, too nervous to tempt fate by leaving his car.
A few hours earlier on the field, Selig went down the line of '82 Brewers who had reunited to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the best season in franchise history. Those players still refer to their old boss as "Mr. Selig."
"If you think of the history of the Brewers organization, all of us are here today because of Mr. Selig," said Yount. "He was the one that basically created the Milwaukee Brewers."
"He's probably the biggest baseball fan of the Milwaukee Brewers I've ever met," said Fingers. "He was always nervous. I would come into ballgames, get on the mound and do my warmup pitches, and I would look up into the owner's box and Bud would be pacing back and forth with a Tiparillo cigar in his mouth. Back and forth until the game was over. He was always that way. He's just a big baseball fan, and he is certainly deserving."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.