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Michael Weiner, MLB players' union head, dies at 51

Michael Weiner died Thursday at the age of 51. He is often credited with smoothing the MLBPA's relationship with baseball management. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images Michael Weiner died Thursday at the age of 51. He is often credited with smoothing the MLBPA's relationship with baseball management. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Major League Baseball Players' Association executive director Michael Weiner died Thursday after a 15-month battle with an inoperable brain tumor. He was 51 years old.

Weiner took over as head of the players' association four years ago, succeeding Donald Fehr. He is credited with aiding in improving the union's relationship with baseball management.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement announcing his death:

"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."

Last summer, the players' association announced a succession plan that will have former big league All-Star Tony Clark taking over for Weiner as executive director.

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