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Vincent is an American businessman and the former Commissioner of Major League Baseball. He first rose to prominence as a corporate lawyer and later as president and chief executive officer of Columbia Pictures Industries (1978-83) and head of Coca-Cola’s entertainment division (1983-8).
Invited in 1989 by his old friend A Bartlett Giamatti to assist him as commissioner of baseball, on Giamatti’s premature death, Vincent was named commissioner (1989-92). A series of crises, including the earthquake in San Francisco that cast a shadow across the 1989 World Series, a spring lockout in 1990, and the activities of Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner that led Vincent to suspend him, all made Vincent unpopular with some team owners. After he unilaterally announced that some National League teams would be realigned in their divisions, he was asked to resign (Sep. 1992) by a 18-9 vote of the owners. Although at first vowing to fight, he soon resigned and returned to private law practice, thereafter becoming a prominent commentator on broader public issues.