Sports Lawyer Appointed as New Commissioner of Northern League

Jan 19, 2007

The Northern League of Professional Baseball announced the appointment of Clark C. Griffith as its new Commissioner earlier this month
Rich Ehrenreich, President/Managing Partner of the Schaumburg Flyers and a member of the Northern League’s Board of Directors, made the announcement following the League’s annual meeting in Orlando.
Griffith, who previously served as the Northern League’s General Counsel, replaces Jim Weigel.
Besides being an adjunct Professor of Sports Law at two St. Paul law schools, Griffith is also the Chairman of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University and the Governor of the American Bar Association Entertainment & Sports Law Forum.
Ehrenreich said in a statement that the league was excited about the elevation of Griffith to the Commissioner’s 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,” he said. “It’s become clear over the years to the Board of Directors that the title ‘Commissioner’ fits Clark like a glove.”
Griffith specializes in corporate governance, antitrust, finance, and intellectual property law. He has also represented clients in business litigation and arbitration cases. In addition, he is an American Arbitration Association commercial arbitrator.
Prior to practicing law, 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”.
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, Griffith was elected president of the student body. He served in the U.S. Navy.
In a statement, Griffith called the League “the premier independent professional baseball league in North America.”
John Ehlert of Wayzata, Minn., owner of the Kansas City T-Bones and a member Northern League’s Board of Directors, said the skills and ability 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.


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