Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says he plans to retire in January 2015.
The 79-year-old Selig has repeatedly said since 2003 that his retirement was imminent, but Thursday marked the first time he issued a formal statement.
He says he will announce a transition plan shortly that will include a reorganization of central baseball management.
Selig bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970 and moved the team to Milwaukee. He was part of the group that forced Fay Vincent's resignation. Selig took over as acting commissioner on Sept. 9, 1992, in his role as chairman of the executive council. He repeatedly said he would not take the job full time but was formally elected commissioner July 9, 1998. He agreed to new contracts in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2012.
"Buddy honors Baseball every waking moment," said A's managing partner Lew Wolff. "Buddy has preserved, shaped and prepared all of us for the future of Major League Baseball, and he has done so driven by the same love of the game he's had all his life. He combines exceptional leadership with the kind of passion that millions of fans around the world feel for our national pastime, and his contributions to the game will be remembered forever."