Major League Baseball lost a leader Thursday as the head of the MLB Player's Association, Michael Weiner, died from a brain tumor:
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
Weiner passed away 15 months after it was found out that he had an inoperable brain tumor.
Commissioner Bud Selig released a statement (via Mike Axisa of CBS Sports) concerning Weiner's passing:
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.
It's a loss that is felt by many around the league:
Devastated on hearing the news of Michael Weiner's passing. A man of integrity & humility...Will be missed greatly but always remembered!— Jake Peavy (@JakePeavy_44) November 22, 2013
Sad day for the baseball world. We lost not only a great man, but a great leader. R.I.P. Michael Weiner— Justin Upton (@JUP_8TL) November 22, 2013
You could tell that Michael Weiner really cared about us... He really wanted to know how you were. He'll be missed a lot. Amazing person— Joel Hanrahan (@hanrahan52) November 22, 2013
also saddened to see the passing of @MLB_PLAYERS Michael Weiner- he was truly an inspiration to us and a stronger man than the rest of us— C.J. Wilson (@str8edgeracer) November 22, 2013
However, this tweet from Andrew McCutchen speaks to how hard Weiner worked for the players:
Michael Weiner worked even thru his sickness. He didn't look at it as an excuse to quit. He never gave up on us even when at his worst...— andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) November 22, 2013
Weiner is responsible for the current labor agreement, which runs through 2016. There were many things in that agreement, according the Associated Press' Ronald Blum (via Yahoo! Sports), that brought about serious change to the sport:
Weiner headed talks for the last deal, in November 2011, which instituted a series of significant changes that included restraints on signing bonuses for amateur players and increased the number of free agents able to switch teams without requiring the loss of draft picks as compensation.
Weiner had been with the MLBPA since 1988. He was named general counsel in 2004 and was placed in charge of all legal matters involving the MLBPA.
As is evident by the reaction of many players, Weiner is a man who changed the game. And not only that, he cared about each and every player.