By Wayne McDonnell
Forbes.com | November 23, 2013
Michael Weiner, the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, lost his heroic 15 month battle with brain cancer at the age of 51 on November 21st. Weiner was a man defined by his brilliance, humility, perseverance and selflessness. A native of the Garden State who preferred jeans and Chuck Taylor canvas sneakers over tailored suits and wingtips, Weiner was an extraordinary man that wholeheartedly believed in the concepts of simplicity and common sense. With Bruce Springsteen providing the soundtrack to his life, he will be eternally remembered for his kindness, collegiality and enormous contributions to the business of baseball.
In a prominent position usually synonymous with discord and animosity, Weiner was instrumental in creating an atmosphere of collaboration and compromise. Instead of aggressively pursuing unrealistic initiatives and creating an “us versus them” mentality in the midst of labor negotiations, Weiner gently encouraged the brethren of ball players to conduct their business in a rational and systematic manner. He willingly assumed the role of educator and mentor to thousands of men who needed to discover and appreciate the work of his predecessors, especially Marvin Miller. In his brief time as Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Weiner consistently made a concerted effort to pursue matters that promoted the best interests of baseball at all times. He was an integral component in sustaining two decades of labor peace and for empowering ball players with life skills that are beyond priceless.
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