Michael Weiner, the MLB players’ association executive director credited with helping the players’ union reach one of its most harmonious periods with owners, has died after a 15-month battle with cancer.
He was 51.
The MLBPA said Weiner died at his New Jersey home.
In a statement, the players’ union said Weiner’s deputy, former major leaguer Tony Clark, would assume the role of acting executive director.
“First, I want to extend our sincerest, heartfelt condolences to Michael’s wife, Diane, and daughters,” Clark said in a statement from the MLBPA. “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.”
Michael joined the MLBPA as a staff attorney in 1988, at age 26, and in 1989 was promoted to assistant general counsel. He wound up succeeding Donald Fehr in December 2009, becoming only the fourth head of the organization since 1966.
Commissioner Bud Selig also issued a statement regarding Weiner, who helped orchestrate the current Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in late 2011.
“All of Major League Baseball mourns the loss of Michael Weiner, a gentleman, a family man, and an extraordinarily talented professional who earned the trust of his membership and his peers throughout the national pastime,” Selig said. “Our strong professional relationship was built on a foundation of respect and a shared commitment to finding fair solutions for our industry. I appreciated Michael’s tireless, thoughtful leadership of the players and his pivotal role in the prosperous state of baseball today.
“Michael was a courageous human being, and the final year of his remarkable life inspired so many people in our profession. On behalf of Major League Baseball and our 30 Clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Michael’s wife Diane, their three daughters, his colleagues at the MLBPA and his many friends and admirers throughout the game he served with excellence.”