Chicago Cubs: MLBPA should leave no player behind

"W Flag" -(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
"W Flag" -(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Tony Clark, MLBPA (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Tony Clark the promised hero

When the Major League Baseball Players Association voted unanimously to appoint Tony Clark, the next executive director of the organization, there was hope that Clark would fix what was broken so long ago. After all, Clark used to be a player himself scratching out a living over 15 years as a first baseman on six different teams.

Clark bestowed the title of All-Star in 2001 while riding high with the Detroit Tigers. Still, like all significant leaguers, eventually, Clark could not outrun his injuries (significant shoulder injury), age, contracts and the inability to hit the ball like when he was younger.

Clark retired in 2009 and went to work on the MLB TV Network, like many players were doing as they transitioned out of the game.  One year later, Clark went to work for the MLBPA as the Director of Player Relations.

When former executive director Michael Weiner passed away in 2013, Clark was unanimously appointed executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.  The 600 players left behind thought their days of waiting for a solution were over and that Clark would address the wrong that had been done to his brethren players.  As Douglas Gladstone recently reported, Fanzone was shocked when Clark didn’t act.

"“I thought for sure that when [former Detroit Tigers All-Star] Tony Clark became executive director of the union, he would help us because he was one of us. But he’s turned a blind eye to this issue,” he says. “I just think both the league and union are waiting for all of us to die off so they won’t have this problem anymore.”"

Clark’s former boss and mentor at MLBPA, Weiner, was the only person ever to help the 600 and do something about the injustice they suffered. Weiner acknowledged the 600’s plight, and in 2011 the pre-1980 players began to get some money.

It wasn’t a grand amount, and the details have been kept quiet. There most likely was some sort of agreement that to get the money, players couldn’t bad-mouth MLBPA or MLB for the unjust treatment they received. They most likely had to sign some gag-order, which prohibited them from speaking to the media directly. If they wanted to get any of the cash that they deserved for almost 40 years, they had to shut their mouths and cash their checks.