The expected happened on Thursday as Rob Manfred was unanimously elected the new commissioner of Major League Baseball. He will succeed current commissioner Bud Selig on January 25 of next year.
Manfred has been Selig’s right-hand man for years, but once he was named MLB’s chief operating officer at the end of the 2013 season he was a shoo-in to become the next commissioner. He was by far the favorite to take over for Selig once the 80-year-old commissioner announced his impending retirement.
The official vote was a unanimous 30-0 for Manfred over fellow candidate Tom Werner. It was, of course, a symbolic final vote to show solidarity, as Werner reportedly received eight votes initially. Twenty-three votes are required to win the election, which was held in a downtown Baltimore ballroom.
Werner, an owner of the Boston Red Sox, and Tim Brosnan, baseball’s executive vice president for business, were the other finalists. Bosnan withdrew from the race early on Thursday before the voting began.
Manfred will become the 10th commissioner in Major League Baseball history when he finally takes over for Selig, and we shouldn’t expect much to change under his regime.
The Rome, New York native graduated from Rome Free Academy in 1976, then graduated from Cornell with a Bachelor of Science, before heading to Harvard Law School. After graduating magna cum laude in 1983, he clerked for District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro in District of Massachusetts.
Manfred went on to become a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius focusing on labor and employment, and during the 1994 MLB strike he served as outside council for the owners. He was eventually hired by MLB in 1998, serving as the executive vice president of economic and league affairs, and held that title for 15 years. He was promoted to COO in late September of 2013 to fill a post that had remained vacant since Selig fired Bob DuPuy in 2010.
The 55-year-old Manfred will take over a league that currently boasts $8 billion in annual revenue. The league has also enjoyed a long stretch of labor peace. Though things can certainly change quickly on that front, he will be inheriting a very healthy product.
Manfred is married and has four children.