Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner passed away on Thursday at the age of 51 due to an inoperable brain tumor.
SportsCenter's official Twitter reported the news:
BREAKING: MLBPA President Michael Weiner has died 15 months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He was 51.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 22, 2013
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Brad Ziegler, who is a union representative, sent out his best wishes to Weiner's family and praised the late president:
Lost a great friend today. Michael Weiner's body finally succumbed to cancer. One of the best leaders & men I knew. Prayers for his family.— Brad Ziegler (@BradZiegler) November 22, 2013
Bud Selig also released a statement, via MLB Public Relations:
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. 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.
Former President of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals and the current president, and part-owner, of the Los Angeles Dodgers Stan Kasten released a statement on Weiner's passing:
Stan Kasten's statement on the passing of Michael Weiner: pic.twitter.com/xKCyKEHVkE— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) November 22, 2013
ESPN's Buster Olney puts into context why he was so highly regarded:
Michael Weiner always asked players about their families,kids. That humanity is part of the reason why many reached out to him last summer.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 22, 2013
The initial diagnosis for Weiner's brain tumor came in August 2012.
Weiner was the union's executive director when he succeeded Donald Fehr in December 2009. Before then, Weiner began serving as the general counsel in 2004 and first joined the union in September 1988.
Several notable accomplishments came under Weiner's watch, including a new collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners in November 2011.
In addition to signifying 21 years of labor peace stretching back to the 1994 strike, the five-year deal was monumental in making baseball the first major North American sport to implement blood testing for human growth hormone.
Although his tenure as executive director lasted approximately four years, as Bill Madden of the New York Daily News points out, Weiner garnered universal acclaim for seeking out baseball's best interests.
As his bio shows, Weiner also previously served as counsel to the NHL Players Association in salary arbitrations.
Weiner is survived by his wife, Diane, and three daughters, Margie, Grace and Sally.