Updated with announcement, 3:05 p.m.
Bud Selig has made it official: he will step down as baseball commissioner after the 2014 season.
“It remains my great privilege to serve the game I have loved throughout my life,” Selig said in a statement (via the New York Daily News). “I am grateful to the owners throughout Major League Baseball for their unwavering support and for allowing me to lead this great institution. I thank our players, who give me unlimited enthusiasm about the future of our game. Together we have taken this sport to new heights and have positioned our national pastime to thrive for generations to come. Most of all, I would like to thank our fans, who are the heart and soul of our game.”
Selig, 79, will leave Jan. 24, 2015. The former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, Selig was named acting commissioner in 1992, with “acting” removed in 1998. Selig has for years talked about stepping down — almost since 1992, CBS Sports.com’s Jon Heyman writes. In the spring, he was adamant, telling Heyman in a phone conversation:
“You can believe it.”
Selig had turned down a five-year contract extension, opting instead for one that will run out when he is 80 — a nice, round number.
“I know the owners are having a tough time with it …,” he told Heyman, “[but] I am serious.”