01/02/2007 11:34 AM - CHICAGO (January 2, 2007) -- The Northern League of Professional Baseball announced the appointment today of Clark C. Griffith as its new Commissioner, effective immediately. The announcement was made by Rich Ehrenreich, President/Managing Partner of the Schaumburg Flyers and a member of the Northern Leagues Board of Directors.
Mr. Griffith, who previously had served as the Northern Leagues General Counsel, replaces Jim Weigel. Mr. Griffith was elected to the position by unanimous vote of Northern League owners following the Leagues annual meeting in Orlando.
Mr. Griffith brings his successful and uniquely diverse experience as an attorney and as a professional baseball executive to the top leadership position of the Northern League.
Mr. Griffith is an adjunct Professor of Sports Law at two St. Paul law schools, and Chairman of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University. Mr. Griffith is also the Governor of the American Bar Association Entertainment & Sports Law Forum. A lawyer and arbitrator, Mr. Griffith is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, Federal and Minnesota state courts.
In announcing the appointment, Mr. Ehrenreich expressed the Leagues excitement with the elevation of Mr. Griffith to the Commissioners post.
"Clark has league office experience in the Northern League both in our early years as well as recently, and has simply been outstanding in his guidance, Mr. Ehrenreich said. It's become clear over the years to the Board of Directors that the title Commissioner fits Clark like a glove.
Mr. Griffiths law practice is in the areas of corporate governance, antitrust, finance, and intellectual property law. He has also represented clients in business litigation and arbitration cases.
Mr. Griffith has often been asked to speak and write on business and legal matters. He has been a contributing author to Sports Business Journal and to The Licensing Journal.
Mr. Griffith is an American Arbitration Association commercial arbitrator.
Prior to practicing law, Mr. Griffith was an executive with the Minnesota Twins Baseball Team. He had responsibilities in the area of broadcasting, player development, scouting, player relations, governmental relations, and finance and business matters. He has negotiated stadium use agreements for several stadiums.
Mr. Griffith was Chairman of the Board of Major League Baseball Properties, from 1975 to 1984. During his tenure as Chairman, MLBP launched its national and international trademark licensing program and created its broadcast and marketing divisions. The broadcast division produced and distributed the award-winning syndicated shows This Week in Baseball and The Baseball Bunch.
Mr. Griffith was educated at Dartmouth College, graduating with an A.B. degree with a History major in 1966. He began attending William Mitchell College of Law while working for the Twins in 1983 and graduated in 1986. While at law school, Mr. Griffith was elected president of the student body. He served in the U.S. Navy.
Mr. Griffith is very active in community affairs. He was formerly President of the Boys and Girls Club of Minneapolis; has served as a trustee of the William Mitchell College of Law, the Freshwater Foundation, the Minnesota Zoo Foundation, and Children's Heartlink.
"I am enthusiastically looking forward to the opportunity to lead the Northern League, the premier independent professional baseball league in North America," Griffith said.
John Ehlert, owner of the Kansas City T-Bones and a member Northern League's Board of Directors, said the skills and ability Mr. Griffith brings to the Commissioner's Office add to the Northern League's stature as the premier independent league.
"The 'Griffith' family name has been synonymous with the rich tradition of professional baseball for generations, and we're elated that the tradition continues with the Northern League," Ehlert said.
The Northern League Office of the Commissioner will move to Minneapolis, Minn.
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