MLBPA head Michael Weiner remembered at funeral
Passed away at age 51 on Thursday
Michael Weiner's funeral drew baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, adversaries who did not appear to cross paths during Sunday's service honouring the union leader.
Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, Frank Thomas, David Cone, Bobby Bonilla and Al Leiter also attended the 35-minute service at Robert Schoem's Menorah Chapel.
Management representatives in addition to Selig included Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner, Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred, San Diego Padres executive Omar Minaya and MLB Executive Vice-President Tim Brosnan.
Incoming union head Tony Clark, former union leader Donald Fehr and agents Scott Boras, Jeff Borris, Adam Katz, Seth Levinson, Jay Reisinger and Arn Tellem also were among the crowd, which filled the aisles and the funeral home lobby.
"If anybody would like to sit on the floor in front of the pews, that is fine," Rabbi Mary Zamore said. "As you know, Mike Weiner was known for informality. We will respect that by just all squishing together."
Weiner died Thursday at age 51, less than four years after taking over as union head from Fehr.
He was eulogized by his wife, Diane Margolin, as many in the crowd wiped tears and sniffled. Some wore Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers — a Weiner trademark — in his honour.
"I've been thinking about how to address you on this occasion since August of '12 when an aggressive cancerous tumour invaded Mike's brain," she said. "I imagined this day would be far, far off, but I knew it was coming."
Selig sat in the third row of the chapel and did not appear to speak with Rodriguez, who is seeking to overturn a 211-game suspension issued last summer.
Rodriguez has been critical of Selig, saying Wednesday "he's trying to destroy me." Lawyers for the Yankees star have taken issue with Weiner's statement in an Aug. 6 interview that he advised Rodriguez to settle if MLB offered a shorter penalty
During an eight-minute eulogy, Margolin said Weiner and his family felt honoured by friends in the past 15 months who arranged "a whirlwind of award ceremonies and parties that some of us came to call Tumorfest 2013."
"Shortly after his cancer diagnosis, Mike told me he was not afraid of death. He wasn't rushing it, but he was not afraid," she said. "His living the past 15 months without fear made all the difference, made everything possible."
Weiner is survived by his wife and daughters Margie, Grace and Sally.
"He clearly did not want us to be saddened by his diagnosis or what his illness did to him," his wife said. "He wanted us to dine, dance and play ball, stay on track with our lives, go to school, go to work, carry on. And by doing so now, we will honour Mike's life."
Weiner was buried following the funeral at Cedar Park Cemetery in nearby Emerson.