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Sports Then and Now



Baseball Salaries Through the Years 5

Posted on August 15, 2014 by Felix Senett

 

Salaries in baseball, as in all sports, has exploded over the last 30 years.

Salaries in baseball, as in all sports, has exploded over the last 30 years.

Baseball as with other major sports in the US, has seen a huge rise in salaries over the last 100 years. This may come as no surprise to most, as you would expect salaries to rise with inflation, but sports stars’ salaries has risen far beyond this.

One man has conducted a study into these salaries over the years, with interesting conclusions. Professor Michael Haupert, who is the professor of economics at Wisconsin La Crosse, found some interesting patterns and trends, but the most surprising thing seems to be the lack of full data available to great a comprehensive report.

Despite financial information being more freely and readily available, there still seems to be a lack of recorded salaries on file for a lot of major league players. Hauperts study takes into account only 50% of players who have played at least one major league baseball game since 1874.

The study only takes into account actual salary details, excluding any bonuses. Even without taking any additional bonus earnings into account, it’s clear to see from Haupert’s study that earnings have increased exponentially since 1874.

The highest salary recorded for a player at time was $2,000. Of course this was still a large salary almost 150 years ago, but when compared with inflation, it works out as an annual salary of just over $41,000. This is a fairly modest earning for anyone, never mind top players today, like Alex Rodriguez who earned a whopping $29 million in 2013. Alex Rodriguez’ last annual salary would have been worth over $1 million in 1874 – a far cry from Fergus Malone’s salary at the time. In essence, Alex Rodriguez earned more per plate – $56,000 this year – than Malone did all year in 1874 (with calculated inflation).

Even Joe Dimaggio’s huge 1949 earnings of $100,000 is still worth under $1 million in today’s money. This means that even in the last 60 years, the salaries of major league baseball players has multiplied by over 300%. This is a huge rise not seen in any other profession outside of major league sports. Read the rest of this entry →

How Much Money Is Enough In Major League Baseball? 7

Posted on May 15, 2010 by Jacob Rogers

The Phillies recently signed to Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125 million contract extension.

The economy obviously isn’t bothering Major League Baseball teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, and Phillies. Everyone knows that the Yankees and Red Sox will go buy any free agent that can help their team. Some say that the Yankees and Red Sox have ‘bought’ their World Series Championships. And the Phillies have had two straight World Series appearances… So can a team ‘buy’ a championship?

The Phillies just recently gave their star first baseman a 5-year, $125 million deal. Thirty-year-old Ryan Howard has 226 HR, 657 RBI, and a batting average of .279 in his career. Howard has struck out more than 900 times in his career. He isn’t very solid defensively either, yet the Phillies still make him one of the highest paid players in baseball.

Top 5 Highest Paid Players in Baseball
5. Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees 20,625,000
4. Derek Jeter – New York Yankees 22,600,000
3. C.C. Sabathia – New York Yankees 24,285,000
2. Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies 25,000,000
1. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees 33,000,000

So if Howard is ‘worth’ $25 mill a year, and A-Rod is ‘worth’ $33 mill a year, what does this mean for future players? Albert Pujols is arguably the best player in baseball. So how much is he going to be ‘worth’ at the end of the year? Is he ‘worth’ $40-50 million? Wow! The Padres and Pirates whole team payroll is less than $40 million a year! Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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