How a Mayo High School Grade Paved the Way for Minor League Baseball Players to Earn a Living Wage – Post Bulletin

DENVER – In June of 2013, Aaron Sen was faced with a difficult decision; Continue playing the sport he loved in Minor League Baseball or move to make sure he has a living wage.

Sen, a 2006 Rochester Mayo High School graduate, chose the latter.

He was ill with an injury to his left arm for much of that spring, limiting him to eight games with the Miami Marlins High Class A minor-league in Jupiter, Fla.

Now, nine years later, Sen is in Denver, working as a data processor.

He’s also helping athletes who were striving to achieve the same baseball goals they once had, but who, like him, were struggling to survive financially. Sen’s eight-year lawsuit against Major League Baseball has entered the settlement phase.

“Once I was playing I was in a unique position and decided to go back to grad school for these reasons, to really go back and fight for the current and future bowlers who were still in those unfair conditions. And living under wages,” said Sene, who was an All-Big 12 conference selection at the University of Missouri prior to his professional baseball career.

Sen’s lawsuit against the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball accused the office of the Commissioner, led by Bud Selig at the time, and individual team owners of deliberately suppressing the salaries of minor league players. It further said that those wage suppressions violated federal and state wage laws in five states, including California, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and New York.

The settlement in Sene v. Office of the Baseball Commissioner was reached on May 10 this year, eight years after it was originally filed in US District Court in the Northern District of California.

The lawsuit was originally proposed as a class action when it was filed in 2014 by Sene and three other former players. It did not become a class action suit until 2019 after winning an appeal in the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

When Senn retired from baseball, he decided to hang up his cleats when he realized that his opportunities for earning an income were far stronger than those of other players. He completed his bachelor’s degree in 2010 before being drafted by the then-Florida Marlins and began his bachelor’s degree while injured during the entire 2011 season.

“The lifestyle of Minor League Baseball, it’s a huge change from your expectations,” Sene said. “I have experienced the same pain points that most minor leaguers go through in their day to day and it is difficult to make a living on the unfair wages for which you are compensated. When things don’t work out for me So I decided it wasn’t something I could maintain anymore and I went back to grad school and instead moved on with my career elsewhere.

The current Minor League Baseball minimum wage includes $400 weekly in rookie ball, $500 in Class A (both high and low A), $600 in Double-A, and $700 in Triple-A, as reported.

Associated Press on July 29 of this year

, When Sen filed the lawsuit eight years ago, Triple-A players were earning an average of $537.50 per week, while rookie players earned $275 per week.

Last month both plaintiffs and defendants received preliminary approval from the court on a settlement of the case, which totals up to $185 million from Major League Baseball to plaintiffs in a class action suit. Each member of the class action suit is expected to receive $5,000 to $5,500 after attorney fees.

Sometime in the fall, members of the class action will receive notices from lawyers on the settlement and their entitlements, with final approval of the settlement expected to be heard in February 2023.

Garrett Brosius, a former minor leaguer at the law firm Corinne Tillery in St. Louis, is a co-counsel for the class action lawsuit.

“The notice should go out soon and it’s going to describe all the details about the settlement,” Brosius said. “There is nothing that they (class action members) really need to do till then. They should know that we fought for this for a long time and thankfully things are starting to change for the betterment of the player. “

The timing of the lawsuit settlement comes only a month before the MLB Players Association announced its intention to represent minor league players in their association. Although Sen had no correspondence with the movement to unionize minor league players, he said he was pleased to see some changes begin to make things better for minor league players.

“I would say that over the past eight years, we have seen a lot of change in public perception regarding the minor league lifestyle, how players are compensated and treated,” he said. “In my opinion, directly related to some of the changes that we’ve started to see from specific organizations, now, obviously, Major League Baseball and 30 owners are coming to an agreement on this.

“I would put any potential minor league player unionization within the same realm that we’ve really moved the needle and made people aware of the problem, and now you’re starting to see results in a positive light, and we Hopefully it will continue.”

Last Wednesday, September 14, the arbiter overseeing the Minor League Baseball players voting cards to be part of the MLB Players Association confirmed that more than 5,000 players were voting to be represented by the union. The next step for unionization of minor league players is to negotiate a deal between the MLBPA and minor league players, with the expectation that a deal will be reached by the start of the 2023 season.

As for Sen, he can now lovingly look back on an eight-year struggle to get former teammates on the diamonds from his playing days. Sen’s action will also ensure that future waves of professional bowlers can earn a living wage playing the game they love, paving the long road to settlement more meaningful to Sene and thousands of other minor league players. make.

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