Sights and Sounds
12/03/2013 4:05 PM ET
MLBPA executive board appoints Tony Clark executive director pending vote of the general membership
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- The executive board of the Major League Baseball Players Association voted unanimously to appoint Tony Clark as the union's next executive director, pending a vote by the general membership, it was announced today during the MLBPA's annual executive board meeting. The general membership will vote on the matter as soon as practicable.
Clark, 41, has been serving as the MLBPA's acting executive director since former executive director Michael Weiner's passing on Nov. 22, after a 15-month battle with an inoperable brain tumor.
As executive director, Clark, who joined the MLBPA staff in March 2010 as director of player relations, and was promoted to deputy executive director this past July, will oversee all day-to-day aspects of the MLBPA's operations, including labor relations, business affairs and the Players Trust.
"Although the need to name a new executive director was brought about by the tragic passing of Michael Weiner, a man we all loved and respected, we're very happy to have someone like Tony take the helm of our union," stated Jeremy Guthrie, who, along with Curtis Granderson, serves as MLBPA association representative, the union's most senior player-leadership position. "Tony's experience as one of the most respected players of his generation and his knowledge of the union and its bargaining relationship with the clubs will serve all players well as we navigate the future."
"Tony has some big shoes to fill, but we're more than confident that he has the knowledge, experience and passion to serve as our next executive director," added Granderson. "Tony has been actively involved in the last three rounds of bargaining, and his commitment to the brotherhood of players -- past, present, and future -- makes him uniquely qualified to serve in this role."
"It is with a very heavy heart that I thank the players for providing me the honor and opportunity to follow my mentor and friend, Michael Weiner, as the MLBPA's next executive director," said Tony. "We all wish this decision was not necessary; however, we also know that Michael would urge all of us involved with the union to forge ahead in our efforts to protect the rights of the players. The passion and courage Michael displayed during his inspiring 15-month battle has truly set a tone that further embodies the commitment players have to the Players Association and to one another."
Clark retired during the 2009 season, after spending 15 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres. Originally drafted by the Tigers in the first round (second overall) of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, Clark made his big league debut in September 1995 and finished third in 1996 Rookie of the Year voting. Clark, a first baseman, played in 1,559 games, appeared in the 2001 All-Star Game and finished his career with 1,188 hits, 251 home runs and 824 RBIs.
Clark became active in union affairs after attending his first executive board meeting in 1999. From there he became a team player representative, before spending his last seven seasons as an association representative. As a player, Clark was actively involved in the union's collective bargaining negotiations in 2002 and 2006, as well as in negotiations over the Joint Drug Agreement.
The MLBPA executive board consists of the 30 player representatives, two association representatives, two alternate association representatives, two pension representatives and two alternate pension representatives (38 players total).