Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield was named a special assistant to new Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark, the union said.
“Dave’s passion and dedication to the game and the cause of players is legendary among the brotherhood of players,” Clark, 41, said in a statement. “His prominence and reputation inside and outside the game will serve all players -- past, present and future -- well.”
Winfield, 62, had a 22-year major-league career and spent 15 seasons as a player representative to the union. He was also a member of the advisory board that helped the group create its non-profit trust in 1996.
Clark, who had been the interim head of the union as former executive director Michael Weiner fought brain cancer, took over the position on a permanent basis this week. Weiner died on Nov. 21.
Winfield played nine years with the New York Yankees and eight for the San Diego Padres, along with stints for the Minnesota Twins, California Angels, Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays. An outfielder, he retired in 1995 with a .283 career batting average, 3,110 hits and 465 home runs.
Winfield was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001 and has since that year been an executive vice president and senior adviser for the Padres.
“As a former union leader, I’m thrilled to be joining the ranks of the most accomplished and respected sports union in the country to help provide a generational link and historical perspective to today’s players,” Winfield said in the statement. “I have participated in nearly every aspect of the game, and I look forward to putting that experience to good use in support of Tony Clark and various MLBPA activities and initiatives.”
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