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In 1920 the owners of Major League Baseball, in order to reestablish confidence of fans in the sport following the Black Sox Scandal, established the office of Commissioner of Baseball. Under the direction of the commissioner, he or she hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts. The commissioner is chosen by a vote of the owners of the teams; it is said that current President of the United States George W. Bush once angled for the position.
The unique title "Commissioner", which is a title now applied to the heads of several other major sports leagues as well as baseball, derives from its predecessor office, the National Commission. The National Commission was the ruling body of baseball starting with the National Agreement of 1903 which made peace between the leagues. It consisted of three members: the league presidents, and a Commission Chairman, whose primary responsibility was to preside at meetings and presumably to mediate disputes. The Black Sox scandal was seen as a failure of the National Commission. The Commission was in some sense baseball's equivalent to the Articles of Confederation: a good start, but ultimately scrapped and replaced with a more powerful and centralized government.