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Press Release

11/21/2013 8:05 PM ET
MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner passes
Revered union leader succumbs to 15-month battle with brain cancer

NEW YORK -- The Major League Baseball Players Association is sad to announce that its executive director, Michael Weiner, today lost his heroic, 15-month battle with brain cancer. He passed away quietly at home in New Jersey surrounded by his loving wife, Diane, and three daughters.

Despite being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in August 2012, and until his passing, Weiner, 51, continued to serve the players and provide leadership and counsel to the MLBPA staff.

Weiner joined the MLBPA as counsel in 1988, at age 26, and in 1989 was promoted to assistant general counsel. He was later promoted to associate general counsel and, in 2004, to general counsel. Weiner was named executive director by the MLBPA executive board on Dec. 2, 2009, replacing the retiring Donald Fehr.

Weiner oversaw collective bargaining negotiations as executive director for the first time in 2011, when the union and the 30 clubs reached agreement on a new five-year contract. During the 2011 CBA negotiations, he helped Major Leaguers achieve gains and benefits for every class of player. Weiner helped usher in precedent-setting changes to the structure of the game, including the addition of a second Wild Card team in each league, the creation of two 15-team leagues, approval of expanded instant replay, elimination of Type A and Type B free agents and the institution of new protocols and procedures with regard to concussions.

In accordance with a previous decision approved by the MLBPA's executive board this past July, MLBPA deputy executive director Tony Clark assumes the role of acting executive director.

Said Clark: "First, I want to extend our sincerest, heartfelt condolences to Michael's wife, Diane, and daughters. Words cannot describe the love and affection that the players have for Michael, nor can they describe the level of sadness we feel today. Not only has the game lost one of its most important and influential leaders in this generation, all involved in the game have lost a true friend. As one of the most beloved and respected members of the baseball community, Michael will be missed by all of us."

As acting executive director, Clark, who was named deputy executive director on July 22, will oversee all day-to-day aspects of the MLBPA's operations, including labor relations, business affairs and the Players Trust. The issue of union leadership will be addressed by the executive board during the MLBPA's 2013 executive board meeting in December (Dec. 2-15; La Jolla, Calif.). The MLBPA Constitution and By-Laws provide that the executive director shall be "appointed by the executive board."

Announcements concerning memorial arrangements will be made at a later time.