12/05/2013 01:49 EST | Updated 02/04/2014 05:59 EST

Dave Winfield joins baseball players' union as special assistant to new head Tony Clark

SAN DIEGO - Hall of Famer Dave Winfield has joined the Major League Baseball Players Association staff as a special assistant to new executive director Tony Clark.

The 12-time All-Star was a player representative during 15 of his 22 major league seasons, hit 465 homers and was elected to the Hall on the first ballot in 2001.

Clark was approved Tuesday by the union's executive board to replace Michael Weiner, who died Nov. 21 of a brain tumour. Clark said in a statement Thursday that "Dave's passion and dedication to the game and the cause of players is legendary among the brotherhood of players. His prominence and reputation inside and outside the game will serve all players — past, present and future — well."

Winfield has worked with the San Diego Padres since 2001 as executive vice-president/senior adviser.