Retiring Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig saluted St. Louis as he received the inaugural Red Schoendienst Medal on Sunday by the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
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In his remarks, Selig shared some of his favorite memories during his 22 years in office. Two memories included Jack Buck’s poem in the first St. Louis Cardinals game played after the tragic events of 9/11 and David Freese‘s World Series Game 6 walk-off home run.
There was one memory that is “still painful” for Selig and it came at Busch Stadium during the 1982 postseason.
"“I have so many fond memories in St. Louis,” Selig said, “save just one. It occurred in the fall of 1982 in Busch Stadium. Whitey Herzog will remember this. Lonnie Smith and Keith Hernandez beat my Brewers (in the World Series). That is still painful. If my hometown team had to lose, I’m glad it was the remarkable city of St. Louis. I consider myself lucky to be born and bred in a wonderful baseball town, but I love the passion of St. Louis fans.”"
Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. had some thoughts on Selig.
"“His legacy is without question,” DeWitt said. “If you look at where baseball was when he came in as acting commissioner in the early ’90s, it’s night and day. There were strikes or lockouts every single time there was a labor agreement expiring. There was a lot of infighting among owners. He really was a master at getting everyone on the same page."
"“When you go through all the things that have occurred to get us where we are today, he was the leader to make those things happen. But to get them done is hard. It was really hard, and he was able to do it.”"
For the first time in the event’s history, Lou Brock had an actual person on hand to present an award. In prior years, the National League stolen base champion has never showed up for the dinner. Dee Gordon, the 2014 stolen base champion, was on hand last night to receive his award.
The 1985 National League championship team was on hand for the dinner. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the 1985 season.