Former major leaguer Tony Clark was named the new executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, succeeding Michael Weiner, who died in November after a battle with cancer.
Clark, who played for six teams in a 15-year career, was named acting director after Weiner’s death and was unanimously approved as Weiner’s successor during a meeting of the union’s board in La Jolla, Calif.
Clark, 41, was named deputy executive director in July when Weiner’s health began to fail. Weiner, who succeeded Donald Fehr as executive director in 2009, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2012.
At the time of Clark’s deputization, Weiner wrote, “Tony’s rise within the union will come as no surprise to those who know him. It was clear from the moment Tony joined the MLBPA that his on-field experience and passion for the fraternity of players would make him a tremendous advocate for all who play the game. I look forward to working closely with Tony as together we represent the interests of the players.”
Clark is the first player to act as the players union leader since Bob Feller—instrumental in the construction of the union—was its president from 1956-59.
On a conference call Tuesday, Clark acknowledged the large job ahead of him.
“Rome was not built overnight,” Clark said. “But at the end of the day, it’s understanding how the pieces fit together and having an appreciation for why we’re here.
“Snap decisions aren’t made. If you had asked Michael if he was sitting here (what Clark would need to do the job)—in fact, I asked him, and the first word out of his mouth was ‘patience.’ ”
Among other topics discussed at the MLBPA board meeting was the joint drug agreement. Free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson said the board would solicit the players about stricter penalties for PED users.
“The Players Association will continue to gain the opinion of all 750 baseball players . . . every opinion will be taken into consideration.”
Bob Feller: 1956–1959
Frank Scott: May 1, 1959 – 1966
Marvin Miller: July 1, 1966 – Dec. 9, 1982
Ken Moffett: Dec. 9, 1982 – Nov. 22, 1983
Marvin Miller (Interim): Nov. 22, 1983 – Dec. 9, 1983
Donald Fehr (Acting): Dec. 9, 1983 – Dec. 1985;
Donald Fehr: Dec. 1985–2009
Michael Weiner: June 22, 2009–Nov. 21, 2013
Tony Clark (Acting): November 21, 2013 – Dec. 2, 2013
Clark: Dec. 3