The standing-room-only audience for the first Selig Distinguished Lecture in Sport and Society included Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig (’56 BS L&S), UW-Madison history department faculty and staff, students and, certainly, a few baseball fans. Professor Adrian Burgos delivered the inaugural lecture on the life and influence of Alejandro (Alex) Pompez, one of the most visionary owners, executives and scouts in baseball history.
Burgos joined the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign faculty in 2001 and is currently professor of history in the Department of African American, Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Latino/a Studies. He received his undergraduate degree at Vassar College, his PhD at the University of Michigan and has taught at Michigan State University and James Madison College. Burgos’ areas of research focus on the cultural implications of baseball and sports in America. He spoke about the color line between White, African American and Latino ball players and how Pompez was instrumental in breaking it down.
Selig, the ninth commissioner of Major League Baseball, earned his UW-Madison degrees in history and political science and was, at one time, an aspiring history professor.
In 2010, he established the Allan H. Selig Chair in History. The distinguished Selig chair will support a new faculty position focusing on teaching and research related to the development of professional sport in its larger national and social contexts, including race, gender, labor relations, “mass culture,” economic organization and how sports both influence and reflect broad social change.
The Selig Chair and related programs like the Selig lecture will allow the UW-Madison to play a key pioneering role in the emerging scholarly field of American sports history.
Baseball Commissioner Selig Endows History Chair at UW-Madison
Allan H. “Bud” Selig often talks about how he views the decisions he makes as the commissioner of Major League Baseball in the light of history. Now he has made a gift to endow the Allan H. Selig Chair in History at the University. Continue reading »