Michael Weiner was a relentless advocate for players from his arrival at the Major League Baseball Players Association as a staff attorney in 1988 until his death from a brain tumor at age 51. After his passing in 2013, players determined the best way to honor his work and perpetuate his legacy would be to award scholarships each year to five deserving law students with a commitment to defending workers’ rights.
On June 29, the five recipients of the 2022 Michael Weiner Scholarships for Labor Studies visited the MLBPA offices in New York for a reception, where they were recognized by Weiner’s widow, Diane Margolin, PA executive director Tony Clark and several members of the selection committee. They shared their personal stories and their vision for advancing the cause of workers throughout society.
The five new scholarship honorees are: Maria Amanda Flores, a Northeastern University student who is involved in grassroots community organizing in her home country, the Philippines; Aaron Bryce Lee, a South Korea native and Yale Law School student who is committed to advancing the cause of worker power and solidarity; Juan Fernando Luna Leon, also of Yale Law, who was inspired by the injustices he saw as the son of an undocumented construction worker in Texas; Chris Rowley, a former professional pitcher who was spurred to attend law school at the University of Colorado-Boulder after witnessing the hardships and economic exploitation of minor league players; and Forrest Stewart, a University of Wisconsin-Madison law student who is engaged in the fight against economic inequality, climate catastrophe and the subjugation of marginalized people.
The 2022 scholarship winners are fighting to give a voice to workers across a wide range of pursuits. But they’re fueled by the same passion and integrity that defined Michael Weiner throughout his 25-year tenure with the Players Association.
“Almost everybody works too much,’’ Stewart said. “Almost everybody should get paid more than they do. And almost everybody rightly feels like they deserve more power in their workplace. These interests are basically universal and they can draw so many people together, no matter what their background is. So that’s why I think the labor movement is the best chance we have of creating a more just and equitable society.’’