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Donald Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association since 1983, will get $11 million US in a severange package. ((Haraz N. Ghanbari/Associated Press))

Donald Fehr will receive an $11-million US severance package from the Major League Baseball Players Association when he leaves as executive director.

Players voted to approve the package last month following the recommendation of the union's executive committee.

Fehr has held his job since December 1983 and in June announced his intention to retire.

Michael Weiner, the union's general counsel, has been designated to succeed him and a final vote by the union's executive board is scheduled for December.

"I have no hesitancy in recommending to the players that he be given the opportunity to do this job," Fehr said in June.

Three work stoppages

When he assumed the top job 26 years ago, the average player's salary was $289,000. It had risen to $2.9 million by last year.

Fehr presided over three work stoppages during his time in charge: the brief 1985 strike, followed by a 32-day lockout in 1990, and a 7½-month strike in 1994-95 that wiped out the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

He headed negotiations for a divisive August 2002 drug agreement that was revised three times under congressional pressure.

He decided he didn't want to negotiate the next labour contract and wanted to give Weiner lead time.

"After a while, it wears you down," Fehr said in June. "I think it will be good for everybody."