Bud Selig reflects on his time as Major League Baseball Commissioner

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Bud Selig is on a farewell tour of sorts. The Milwaukee native will retire as the Commissioner of Baseball in the winter -- so he is savoring a final season that is just starting to unspool.

Selig says he will retire as Commissioner of Major League Baseball in January of 2015 -- so when he takes in games these days, he does so with a wistful perspective.

"I don't look at it as bittersweet. It's a decision I've made. I've been on this job now for 23 years. My career here in Milwaukee started, really, in 1964. That's 50 years ago. You know, in life, there's a time to come, but there's also a time to go," Selig said.

Selig will go with pride.

He feels the initiatives he has put into place have strengthened the game -- and he feels the criticism he has endured during some of the required transitions was worth it.

"The game is not what it once was. It's better! I'm looking for a big year this year -- a big attendance year all over. Obviously, I'm going to go all over, but this has been quite an experience," Selig said.

Selig's authority covers the entire sport, but his heart is still in Milwaukee. Crushed when the Braves left for Atlanta, he brought the big leagues back to town in the form of the Milwaukee Brewers.

"You know, you look back on that and it took five-and-a-half years to get the team, and no matter what's happened to me in my long career, that will always be my proudest accomplishment because the odds were really stacked against us. I mean, really stacked against us. I mean, it's not a secret to know that baseball didn't want to come back here. This is just a great baseball town. Really, a great baseball town," Selig said.

Watching this team as it performs on the field and as it performs in the larger sense, Selig sees a stable product.

"It is on great footing, as a lot of our franchises are, and (Jean) Segura makes a great play and throws him out! (Play-by-play) is what I wanted to do way back when," Selig said.

Play-by-play announcing never happened for Selig, but so much has in baseball -- and baseball is happening in a climate-controlled environment in Milwaukee because of him.

Selig says he plans to do some teaching and writing when he retires as commissioner. Anyone who knows him knows he'll also be watching plenty of baseball.