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MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to step down after 2014 season

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig will reportedly retire in January 2015.  (Bruce Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)

Bud Selig and Major League Baseball have proposed a centralized international draft. (Bruce Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)

Major Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig formally announced his retirement today, effective in January 2015.

Selig, 79, has been baseball's top executive since 1998, after serving in an acting capacity since 1992.  He had previously said that he would remain commissioner until the end of the 2014 season.

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"Look, I've told everybody that I've got another 16, 17 months to go and I've got obviously lots of things I want to do and will do," Selig said to earlier this month. "But I am convinced -- I think it's Jan. 24, 2015 that is the actual date -- that I will be done. I believe that and I think everybody now understands that I will be done"

Selig has seen the league through steroid scandals, a work stoppage in the 1994 season resulting in the cancellation of the World Series, changes to the All-Star Game that now gives home-field advantage in the World Series to the league that wins the game and, most recently, the inclusion of a second wild-card team to the postseason.