Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Writers Salute Selig, Who Salutes Cardinals in Return; Commissioner Is Honored with the First Red Schoendienst Medal; Baseball

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Writers Salute Selig, Who Salutes Cardinals in Return; Commissioner Is Honored with the First Red Schoendienst Medal; Baseball

Article excerpt

Retiring Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was honored with the inaugural Red Schoendienst Medal by the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America on Sunday, and Selig returned the favor by honoring St. Louis.

Selig, who steps down as commissioner next Sunday, singled out Jack Buck's poem before the Cardinals' first game after the resumption of play after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 as one of his favorite memories from his 22 years as commissioner.

He recalled David Freese's game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

"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."

The Schoendienst Medal was established by the writers' association to honor men and women who made "incredible, invaluable and magnificent contributions to the national pastime" in the name of Schoendienst, who has been around the game for more than 70 years, most of them in St. Louis.

"I've often said," Selig said, "we're lucky in baseball that our great stars, our iconic stars, have been really great human beings. Red Schoendienst fits that bill tremendously."

Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. saluted 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."

Selig said baseball is changing.

"When I began in this role," Selig said, "the game faced fundamental changes and a lot of challenges. …

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