Calcaterra: Who was baseball’s best commissioner?

From Craig Calcaterra at The National Pastime Museum on October 3, 2016:

In a presidential election year one is often tempted to think historically. Who were the greats? Who were the failures? What does it truly mean to be a successful chief executive?

Baseball has a chief executive, too. There have only been 10 of them and their tenure tends to be longer than that of your typical president, but if you squint just so, you can kind of consider the commissioner of baseball to be the equivalent of our commander in chief. Leaving out Rob Manfred (who has only been on the job for a year and whose legacy cannot yet be known), who, among these 10 men, was the greatest?

The first thing you realize when considering the question is that we haven’t exactly had a lot of Abraham Lincolns or FDRs in baseball’s top job. Indeed, going through them one by one, you realize that almost all of them were either feckless, uninspiring, or, in a couple of cases, downright awful. But one of them had to have been the best, right? Who was it?

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Originally published: October 3, 2016. Last Updated: October 3, 2016.