MBA honors long-time legal counsel

By Nick Gerhardt

The Minnesota Baseball Association recognized the services of Eric Brever and Pat Goggins Tuesday in St. Patrick with a pregame ceremony before the Irish faced Union Hill.

Brever and Goggins have served as the pro-bono league counsel for the MBA. Goggins started serving as legal counsel back in 2008 until 2019 when he won a district court judge appointment. Brever took over for Goggins in 2019 and both have a strong background in amateur baseball. Goggins succeeded Judge Michael Fahey, who provided counsel for the MBA until he became a judge. Fahey also had a passion for amateur baseball and had a connection with Goggins’ father, leading him to asking Goggins, a former St. Patrick Irish player, to take over MBA duties for him.

“It was an honor to work with them,” Goggins said. “They were just such great guys to work with.”

Goggins played 15 years with the Irish before hanging up his cleats in 2004, having reached the state tournament a handful of times during that span. 

“It’s a fabric of rural Minnesota,” Goggins said of amateur baseball in Minnesota. “It is what you put into it. It’s something that I really felt good about working with and working for after I was done playing.”

Goggins’ firm Wornson Goggins, based in New Prague, continues to serve as legal counsel with Brever taking the lead now. Brever has strong ties to amateur baseball, having worked with the St. Anthony Hogs and extended family involved with the game. Brever’s uncles Roger and Dick Voit played for Farming for years while his cousins Riley and Reed Voit played with Avon. 

“I like the fact that it’s good baseball,” Brever said. “We’re not talking about poor baseball. It’s good quality. I love the fact that it’s accessible. Not having to pay for parking, not taking a second mortgage to go to a Twins game. It’s just a piece of that community and a chance to show off what you have in that community. The rivalries are fun.”

Brever has also served as an assistant coach for the St. Anthony Village since 2009. He’s also worked with the Minnesota State High School League as a game manager for state tournament games and helped the Minnesota State High School League Baseball Coaches Association.

The MBA doesn’t require a lot of legal assistance, but Brever will advise on the MBA rulebook wording, player eligibility and any contracts or agreements the MBA reaches with corporate sponsors or broadcasters.

For Goggins, representing the MBA with legal matters worked as a way for him to give back to the game.

“The very little we ever had to pay, the game gave so much to all of us guys,” Goggins said. “We had so many good times and played with so many good friends. I was happy to do some legal work for them.” 

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