Rob Manfred has been elected baseball's 10th commissioner and will succeed Bud Selig in January.
A labor lawyer who has worked for Major League Baseball since 1998, Manfred beat out Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner on Thursday in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years.
The 55-year-old, who grew up in Rome, New York, must address issues that include decreased youth interest and the longer games. He has served as MLB's chief operating officer for the past year.
“I am truly honored to have been elected by the Clubs of Major League Baseball, and I will work every day to honor their faith and support. I humbly extend my gratitude to all of our Clubs. I also thank Bud Selig for his mentorship, friendship and his record of accomplishment as our sport’s Commissioner. We have the greatest game in the world, and together, all of the contributors to our sport can make its future even brighter,” Manfred said.
Selig turned 80 last month and has ruled baseball since September 1992, when he was among the owners who forced Commissioner Fay Vincent's resignation. He said he intends to retire in January.
“The unanimous vote of the owners reflects our industry’s position that Rob Manfred is the best person to lead our game forward. Having worked with Rob for more than 20 years, and knowing the training he has had within our great game, I believe he is an outstanding choice who will bring true passion and leadership to Major League Baseball," Commissioner Selig said.