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Orza Retiring as Baseball Union’s Operating Head After 26 Years

Gene Orza, the chief operating officer for the Major League Baseball Players Association, will retire after 26 years with the union.

Orza, 64, will officially step down on March 31, 2011, the association said in a news release.

Orza joined the union in 1984 as associate general counsel and helped negotiate agreements between the players and Major League Baseball since 1985. Eight years ago, he was involved in a drug-testing compromise that ended an almost 20-year impasse on the random testing of players.

Orza’s retirement comes 15 months after Donald Fehr stepped down as head of the union. Michael Weiner replaced Fehr as the association’s executive director.

“Each day since Don Fehr’s resignation has only served to reaffirm just how fortunate the players are to have a person like Michael to succeed him,” Orza said in a statement. “Seeing the enormously talented people he’s been able to bring on board -- well, it’s simply time for the old to make way for the new.”

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