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BALTIMORE -- Major League Baseball owners, after weeks of dissent and discord, elected Rob Manfred to replace Bud Selig as the game's 10th commissioner on Thursday, according to a high-ranking baseball official.

The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to make the announcement.

Manfred, promoted in September to the position of chief operating officer, was considered the favorite entering the owners meetings this week but faced stiff opposition from powerful Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno. They each supported Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.

Owners met throughout the day and held multiple votes, with Manfred drawing to within one vote of the 23 needed to gain election. Finally, after a brief recess, all 30 owners voted in favor of Manfred.

He officially replace Selig on Jan. 25, 2015 and is expected to receive a three-year contract.

"I think it's been a very fair process and very educational,'' Moreno said Wednesday before the vote.

One of the top tasks for Manfred when he takes office is the labor agreement that is set to expire Dec. 1, 2016. Manfred has been the league's chief negotiator since 1998, and baseball has had labor peace since the 232-day lockout ended in March, 1995.

"The biggest thing is always labor peace," Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said. "That's never going to change. These things come around every few years and there's a lot at stake."

While it took multiple votes for Manfred to be elected, it certainly wasn't unprecedented. Baseball owners needed 19 ballots in 1968 to decide between Charles Finley and Michael Burke, and eventually appointed Bowie Kuhn.

Manfred, 55, attended Harvard Law School, worked as outside counsel for MLB during the 1994 work stoppage and was hired by MLB in 1998.

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