The Major League Baseball Players Trust honors late Executive Director with 10th year of labor scholarships
NEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2024 – The Major League Baseball Players Trust announced that the application period for the 2024 Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies is now open and will conclude on March 1. The application and additional information about the scholarship can be found on the Michael Weiner Scholarship website page.
This marks the 10th year that the Players Trust has provided support for aspiring worker advocates in the name of Weiner, the Major League Baseball Players Association’s former executive director. The Players Trust will fund up to five scholarships at a minimum of $10,000 each to assist in recipients’ academic costs for the 2023-2024 school year.
“As we reflect on the 10th anniversary of this scholarship that bears the name of one of the most important and influential leaders in our game, we renew our commitment to making sure that his legacy continues to inspire those who wish to be a part of the labor movement,” said Executive Director Tony Clark. “This scholarship reflects the Player fraternity's continued expansion of our programs to empower future labor leaders fighting for the rights of athletes as well as other workers.”
Weiner, known for his keen intellect and plain-speaking, congenial demeanor, joined the MLBPA as a staff attorney in 1988 and in December 2009 succeeded Donald Fehr to become the union’s fourth executive director. He held the position until November 2013, when at age 51 he passed away following a 15-month battle with an inoperable brain tumor.
“For the last 10 years, we have had the privilege to honor the legacy of Michael Weiner by supporting future labor leaders,” Players Trust Director Amy Hever said. “In this critical time of increased labor activism and worker power, the Michael Weiner Scholarship program’s mission is to identify and support people who have a passion for labor advocacy and possess the vision and skills to inspire others. We encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds, academic and personal experiences to apply.”
The scholarship program launched in July 2014 to commemorate the life and work of Weiner by recognizing and supporting the efforts of students dedicated to improving the lives of workers – characteristics that were embodied by Weiner in his personal life, his studies and throughout his 25-year career with the Players Association.
“I have had the opportunity to spend time with many of the MLBPA Players Trust scholarship recipients over the years,” said Weiner’s wife, Diane Margolin. “Their personal stories and paths to this work vary dramatically, but they are united in their commitment to increasing job opportunities, fair labor practices, and livable wages. Our family is grateful that MLB Players are committed to taking meaningful action to benefit all who labor and are honored this scholarship continues to carry Mike’s name.”
Scholarship recipients are selected by a committee of those who were closest to Weiner, both professionally and personally. The 2024 committee consists of Margolin, MLBPA Contract Administrator Cindy Abercrombie, Outside Counsel Jeff Fannell, Assistant General Counsel Bob Lenaghan, and Senior Advisor to the MLBPA Executive Director Ian Penny. To date, the Players Trust has awarded over $400,000 in scholarships to future labor leaders.
To be eligible for an award, applicants must be graduate or law students enrolled in an accredited educational institution in the United States and graduating no sooner than the semester following the scholarship award. Applicants must have a demonstrated interest and wish to pursue a career working in the labor movement on behalf of workers’ rights. To receive an award, eligible candidates must also meet a combination of criteria identified below:
A strong academic record
Demonstrated prior commitment to workers’ rights as shown by employment, volunteer work, or other relevant experience
Demonstrated financial need
A recommendation from an academic or a labor/workers’ rights practitioner
Strong written and oral communication skills
We encourage all interested students to apply as consideration for the scholarship will be based upon a candidate’s entire portfolio.