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Baseball Players can now be Present Fathers Right from the Start
Baseball Players can now be Present Fathers Right from the Start

Major League Baseball recently added a new common-sense roster rule allowing fathers of newborns to have up to three days paternity leave after the birth of a child.

In the Major Leagues time off is a relatively new concept.  Tom Grieve, a Rangers broadcaster, who played from 1970 to 1979, said he never thought to ask for time off. “You go home for two days, and someone else might make the team ahead of you,” he said.  Grieve was traded to the Mets before the 1978 season and said he missed the birth of his daughter, Katie, because he did not want to lose a day of spring training.  He made the opening day roster, but he said that when he looks back it was not worth it.

But this all changed with the birth of Elizabeth Grace Lewis, daughter to the Texas Rangers’ right-hander Colby Lewis.  For the first time in Baseball history her father was placed on the paternity leave list to be present for her birth.

The list is new to baseball this season, allowing a team to replace a player on the active roster for up to three days for the birth of a child. The change was discussed last fall at the general managers’ meetings.

“Teams were basically granting it anyway, but they ended up playing short, and that really wasn’t the goal,” said Peter Woodfork, a senior vice president with Major League Baseball. “It leaves no gray area. Neither side feels like, ‘Well, we really want you to stay.’ There’s no guilt, and it helps both sides.”

This is baseball’s latest common-sense roster rule; another new one provides for a seven-day disabled list for a player with a concussion. For several years, players have been allowed to spend three to seven days on a bereavement list for a sudden death or illness of a close relative.

Jeffrey Feulner and the Men’s Divorce Law Firm advocate father’s rights in all professions and walks of life.  If you are curious about your rights as a father in a family law matter contact us today to see how we can help your case.