Bart Giamatti

Giamatti, a lifelong Red Sox fan, came to prominence as the president of Yale University, where his tough dealing with the college’s union favorably impressed baseball’s owners. Also appreciated was his devotion to baseball’s tradition. Named president of the NL in December 1986, he gained attention for his 30-day suspension of Pete Rose in 1988 after Rose, the Reds’ manager, shoved umpire Dave Pallone. After succeeding Peter Ueberroth as Commissioner in April 1989, Giamatti’s most famous decision once again involved Rose, whom he suspended for life for gambling. A few weeks later, Giammatti died of a massive heart attack.

Giamatti received his B.A. (English) and Ph.D. (Comparative Literature) from Yale and, after teaching at Princeton in 1964-66, returned to Yale in 1966. He became Yale’s president in July 1978 and served for eight years. He wrote many books and articles on Renaissance literature as well as a number of baseball essays.