At long last, the MLBPA and its affiliate, the Minor League, have decided to finally unionize all these years. The news was confirmed on Wednesday as the minor league will finally now have a union to represent their players. The MLBPA executive director Tony Clark issued the following statement:
“I applaud this extraordinary group of young players and welcome them to the MLBPA.
The historic achievement required the right group of Players and the right moment to succeed. Minor Leaguers have courageously seized that moment, and we look forward to improving their terms and conditions of employment through the process of good faith collective bargaining.
I also want to acknowledge the tireless efforts of Harry Marino and the dedicated group he led at Advocates for Minor Leaguers, without whom this historic organizing campaign would not have been possible.”
The minor league was created in 1901 and after over a century of its existence, the minor leaguers have finally gotten increased pay and improved working conditions. The new union will represent around 5,000 minor-league players, with the MLBPA also bargaining on behalf of the Dominican Summer League despite being based outside the United States.
The MLB issued the following statement Wednesday: "Major League Baseball has a long history of bargaining in good faith with unions, including those representing minor and major league umpires, and major league players,” the league said in a statement. We respect the right of workers to decide for themselves whether to unionize. Based on the authorization cards gathered, MLB has voluntarily and promptly recognized the MLBPA as representatives of minor league players. We are hopeful that a timely and fair collective bargaining agreement will be reached that is good for the game, minor league players, and our fans."
The MLB has done a massive overhaul throughout the course of the 2022 calendar year from unionizing the minor league to the MLBPA to introducing a pitch clock that will be implemented during the start of the 2022-23 season, to eliminating shifting that will not allow players to leave their designated area of the field to help get a player out.
The MLB implementing a pitch clock should make the pace of the game go faster and help bring in more of a younger audience now that the speed of the game will be quicker and hopefully reduce the time of the duration of games. These are all big steps forward for a league that has been considered to be failing the game since the turn of the century with the NFL and NBA taking over as the top sports of America.
Minor league unionizing can give more players an opportunity to improve their games with improved working conditions and the ability to better provide for themselves and their families with increased pay. Will these changes help lead to an improved game and overall view of the MLB? We will see over the next few seasons.