Fehr’s quarter century tenure, during which the MLBPA maintained it’s reputation as the most powerful and effective of the professional sports unions, is marked by three milestones. Fehr managed the union’s successful efforts in the court victories over the owners in the collision cases of the late 1980s. He led the resistance to the owners’ brazen attempt at union busting in 1994, calling for the strike that cancelled that year’s World Series, but restored the terms of the collective bargaining agreement sans salary cap. His final decade is marked by the reluctant inclusion of incrementally more rigorous drug testing into the CBA. The first two, especially from the perspective of the players who hired him, will be considered feathers in his cap and bolster his reputation as a highly skilled lawyer and formidable negotiator. Fehr’s handling of the union’s position on performance enhancing drugs is more ambivalent.
Initially Fehr maintained a staunch civil liberties posture toward drug testing—a holdover from the union’s position on recreational drugs. Protection of civil liberties and privacy rights is laudable and has extensive legal justification. However, it provides some cover for the cheaters and criminals at the expense of the other "clean" players. Moreover, because performance, and therefore compensation in baseball is relative, the dimensions of damage to the rank and file are quite different than with recreational drug use. It’s with this balance that Fehr has struggled, and his reluctance to more aggressively address testing and performance enhancing drugs, whether admirable or misguided, will doubtless haunt his legacy.