BALTIMORE — Rob Manfred was elected baseball’s 10th commissioner Thursday and will succeed Bud Selig in January.
A labor lawyer who has worked for Major League Baseball since 1998, Manfred beat out Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years. The third candidate, MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan, dropped out just before the start of voting.
“I am tremendously honored by the confidence owners showed in me today,” Manfred said. “I have very big shoes to fill.”
The 55-year-old Manfred, who grew up in Rome, New York — about an hour’s drive from the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown— must address issues that include decreased interest in baseball among younger people and longer games. He has served as MLB’s chief operating officer for the past year.
“There is no doubt in my mind he has the temperament, the training, the experience,” Selig said.
Selig turned 80 last month and has ruled baseball since September 1992, when he was among the owners who forced Commissioner Fay Vincent’s resignation. He said he intends to retire in January.
Manfred fell one vote shy of the 23 out of 30 owners needed in the first ballot earlier Thursday. On the second ballot, he won unanimously, several owners confirmed.