Apr 25, 2015
Italian / American Baseball Commissioner: Bart Giamatti (1989)
He was a lifelong die hard Red Sox fan who once said, all he ever wanted to be was “President of the American League”. In 1986 he became President of the National League overseeing the Mets win the World Series.
He suspended Pete Rose in April of 1988 after he shoved Umpire Dave Pallone. During the NLCS between the Dodgers & Mets he suspended L.A. pitcher Jay Howell after he was caught using pine tar. The executives in MLB loved the way Giamatti enforced rules, something he learned by fighting the unions at Yale.
Three years later in 1989, he became the Commissioner of Major League Baseball succeeding Peter Ueberroth. Giamatti helped the game become more fan friendly at ball parks, a strong belief he felt needed to be improved. He made the umpires strictly enforce the balk rule which had become very lax. He also helped support the issue of promoting minorities to positions of managers & executives in baseball.
The one thing baseball has always frowned upon since the days of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal, was gambling within the game. Giamatti was determined to maintain the integrity of the game.