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Sports Then and Now



Baseball Salaries Through the Years 4

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 →

Maybe Some Records Aren’t Meant to be Broken 3

Posted on June 02, 2014 by Scott Huntington

We all know the saying, “records are meant to be broken.” However, that may not be the case for some of the greatest records set in the world of sports. No matter if it is in baseball, football, hockey, basketball or any other sport, some achievements propel individuals or teams into legends. And while time will continue and records are never safe, certain incredible records have a chance to never be broken. Here are some of the feats throughout the sports world that may stand as all the others continue to fall.

511 Wins- Cy Young

cy

It’s amazing to think about a pitcher winning over 500 baseball games as a pitcher, yet that’s exactly what Young was able to accomplish. It is certainly a different game now with pitchers taking more time off in between starts, making Young’s record seem untouchable. 300 wins may never be reached again by any pitcher, so Young’s 511 mark is surely one of the greatest records in sports. Read the rest of this entry →

Joe DiMaggio’s Hitting Streak Will Never Be Duplicated 1

Posted on July 17, 2011 by Dean Hybl

No major leaguer has come close to matching Joe DiMaggio's record hitting streak of 56 straight games.

The Major League Baseball players of today are capable of accomplishing amazing feats, but I am going to go out on a limb and predict that no major leaguer of today will ever hit in 56 consecutive regular season games.

It was 70 years ago today that one of the most amazing individual streaks in sports history ended following an unbelievable two month performance by future Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio.

After knocking out a hit in every game from May 15th through July 16th, the luck finally ran out for DiMaggio in a game against the Cleveland Indians. As he had done throughout most of the streak, DiMaggio hit the ball hard, but unlike in previous days, there was always someone there to make the play.

His best chance to extend the streak came in his first at bat when DiMaggio laced the ball down the third base line. Unfortunately, third baseman Ken Keltner was playing deep and was able to grab the ball and throw DiMaggio out at first.

After walking in the fourth inning, DiMaggio hit another drive toward third in the seventh inning, but Keltner made another play to throw out the Yankee Clipper.

With the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning, DiMaggio managed not to hit the ball to Keltner, but instead grounded to shortstop Lou Boudreau who turned it into an inning ending double play.

During the streak, DiMaggio hit .408 with 15 home runs and 55 runs batted in. He had multiple hits 22 times, including four games with four hits. Read the rest of this entry →

Never Again: Joe DiMaggio’s 56 Game Hitting Streak 1

Posted on July 17, 2010 by Dean Hybl

No major leaguer has come close to matching Joe DiMaggio's record hitting streak of 56 straight games.

The Major League Baseball players of today are capable of accomplishing amazing feats, but I am going to go out on a limb and predict that no major leaguer of today will ever hit in 56 consecutive regular season games.

It was 69 years ago today that one of the most amazing individual streaks in sports history ended following an amazing two month performance by future Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio.

After knocking out a hit in every game from May 15th through July 16th, the luck finally ran out for DiMaggio in a game against the Cleveland Indians. As he had done throughout most of the streak, DiMaggio hit the ball hard, but unlike in previous days, there was always someone there to make the play.

His best chance to extend the streak came in his first at bat when DiMaggio laced the ball down the third base line. Unfortunately, third baseman Ken Keltner was playing deep and was able to grab the ball and throw DiMaggio out at first.

After walking in the fourth inning, DiMaggio hit another drive toward third in the seventh inning, but Keltner made another play to throw out the Yankee Clipper.

With the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning, DiMaggio managed not to hit the ball to Keltner, but instead grounded to shortstop Lou Boudreau who turned it into an inning ending double play.

During the streak, DiMaggio hit .408 with 15 home runs and 55 runs batted in. He had multiple hits 22 times, including four games with four hits. Read the rest of this entry →

Baseball All-Star Game Memories – Part 1, 1933-1959 0

Posted on July 06, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Base Ruth hit the first home run in All-Star Game history.

Base Ruth hit the first home run in All-Star Game history.

Since its inception in 1933, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game has provided fans an annual opportunity to see most of the great stars of the game on the same field. While the game is an exhibition and has withstood periods of indifference by some players, management and fans, it remains a special mid-season moment.

There have been many memorable games and moments in the first 80 incarnations of the annual meeting between the top players of the American and National Leagues.

This is the first of a three-part series where we will relive some of the great moments and games in the history of this special series.

Read the rest of this entry →

Remembering Our American Heroes 0

Posted on May 30, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Bob Feller enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor and missed nearly four full baseball seasons.

Bob Feller enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor and missed nearly four full baseball seasons.

(Editor’s Note: In honor of Memorial Day Weekend, Sports Then and Now is re-running this article that reflects on the personal sacrifices made by some of the great stars of baseball. May we always remember and appreciate the sacrifices that so many have made to keep our country free.)

The names Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Bob Feller conjure up images of greatness on the baseball diamond, but a lack of overwhelming career statistics often hurts these superstars when the discussion turns to the greatest players in baseball history. What is generally forgotten is that all three missed significant time in the prime of their careers while defending our country.

Read the rest of this entry →

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      February 2, 2019 | 5:58 pm

      Randy Smith-BravesThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month may have had a pretty common name, but his iron man streak as an NBA player was anything but ordinary.

      In a streak that lasted more than a decade, Randy Smith played in 906 consecutive NBA games to establish an NBA iron man record that lasted more than a decade.

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      A three-sport standout at Bellsport High School in Long Island (basketball, soccer and track), Smith also was a three-sport All-American at Division II Buffalo State College. He helped lead the Bengals to three straight basketball conference championships and a spot in the 1970 Division II Final Four.

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