Sports News

Former American League president Budig dies at 81

Former American League president Gene Budig died on Tuesday. He was 81.

Budig served as the chancellor at the University of Kansas from 1981-94 before leading the American League from 1994-99. Budig spent the last 14 years as co-owner of the minor league Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs, a Class-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.

The RiverDogs announced Budig’s passing, however did not release a cause of death.

“This is a truly sad day for the RiverDogs family,” RiverDogs chairman and principal owner Marv Goldklang said. “Gene was not only a partner, but a great friend. Gene and Gretchen have been a constant presence at the ballpark for the last fifteen years, and Gene’s humor, sage advice, and pure love of baseball will be sorely missed. Our hearts go out to Gretchen and the Budig family.”

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement.

“Following his accomplished career in academia, Gene Budig became a friend to many in Baseball. Dr. Budig took great pride in his role as American League President, and continued to be in the game as part owner of the Charleston RiverDogs. We appreciate his impact on students, his service to the Air National Guard, and his lifelong connection to our National Pastime. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to his wife Gretchen, their family, and his friends throughout our game.”

Budig’s distinguished career also included stints as university president at Illinois State (1973-77) and West Virginia (1977-81). He retired from the Air National Guard in 1992 with the rank of major general.

--Field Level Media