Report: Giamatti to Be Named Commissioner Today
A. Bartlett Giamatti, the National League president, will be named today as baseball’s next commissioner, the Associated Press has learned.
The formal announcement is expected in the afternoon at the end of a regularly scheduled owners meeting. Giamatti, 50, will become the game’s seventh commissioner.
Giamatti, elected as NL president on June 9, 1986, has long been considered a possible successor to Peter Ueberroth. Giamatti had the support of Ueberroth and most owners, including influential Bud Selig of Milwaukee and Fred Wilpon of the New York Mets, who were appointed by owners to report on the selection process.
Ueberroth took office in October 1984 and said previously he would not seek re-election when his term ends Dec. 31, 1989. But he said he would remain available through 1990 to help his successor in a transition period.
Giamatti gained experience as a tough negotiator while president of Yale University. He held that position for eight years and was involved in settling strikes.
As NL president, Giamatti was called, “The dean of discipline,” for imposing strict penalties for improprieties. Most notable was a 30-day suspension of Pete Rose this season after the Cincinnati manager bumped umpire Dave Pallone.
Ueberroth did not want the selection of a new commissioner to drag on. Before these meetings began, he urged owners--if they agreed on Giamatti--to dispense with the formality of a prolonged search process and elect Giamatti.
Giamatti, an admitted Boston Red Sox fan, retired as Yale’s president in June 1986 and officially took office as NL president on Dec. 10, 1986.
At the time, many baseball insiders suggested that Giamatti would not have left Yale if the possibility of becoming commissioner was not in his future.