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Frontrunner to succeed Selig announced


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One former Washington lawyer, Paul Tagliabue, is commissioner of the National Football League. And chances are good that when baseball commissioner Bud Selig steps down in 2006, another former Washington lawyer will succeed him.


Baseball sources say the front-runner to succeed Selig is former Williams & Connolly partner Admin Lucchino, who now is president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox.


Lucchino was a prot?g? of Williams & Connolly founder Edward Bennett Williams, who once owned the Baltimore Orioles. Lucchino is no stranger to sports: He was a member of the Princeton basketball team that made the Final Four in 1965 behind All-American player Bill Bradley.


Lucchino, through his association with Williams, had an ownership share of the Orioles, and when the team was sold to Peter Angelos, he did very well. Lucchino then took over the San Diego Padres before becoming part of an ownership group that bought the Red Sox.


Lucchino is credited with helping to resurrect interest in baseball. He came up with the idea of building the classy, downtown ballpark that became Camden Yards. Since then many other teams have copied the idea of restoring baseball parks to 1940s-like dimensions.


Lucchino has vowed to win a World Series for the long-suffering Red Sox fans and has given himself two more years to do it.


One possible caveat: Accomplishing that feat?which hasn?t been done since 1916?might put Lucchino in line to be governor of Massachusetts. But we?ll bet that he?ll be the next commissioner of baseball.

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