Even though the Stanley Cup playoffs have yet to begin, the Boys of Summer are ready with another season of major league baseball. Even before the first pitch was thrown, an eye-popping record was set. The average annual salary for each player is above $4 million dollars for the first time.
Pitcher Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers is at the top of the heap with $31 million, and he only has to work every 4 days! His team is light years away from the days when they were affectionately referred to as the Brooklyn Bums. The Dodger payroll totals $270 million, the highest ever in the majors.
Historically it was the Yankees who used to be referred to as ‘the best team money can buy’, especially when George Steinbrenner signed the cheques.
Here’s an interesting tidbit to ponder. In 1932, 37 year old Babe Ruth signed an $80,000 contract to continue smacking home runs for New York. When asked how he could justify getting more money than President Herbert Hoover, the Bambino smiled and declared “I had a better year than he did.”
That $80,000, when taxes were much lower than they are today, was probably worth as much as Alex Rodriguez got paid by the Yankees last year for doing absolutely nothing.
Back to the 30’s, very quickly age caught up with Babe Ruth, and the great depression got worse. He accepted huge pay cuts. I don’t seem to recall that happening when the U.S. economy collapsed in 2008.
The guys who make their living in baseball, hockey, basketball and the National Football League have truly got it made in the shade. If they can stick around for 4 or 5 years, they will have won the lottery.
The poor cousins in pro sport continue to be the chaps employed by the Roughriders and the Blue Bombers, and the other teams in the CFL. Nobody earns more than $500,000 playing 3 down football, and most of them make a lot less.
Let the games begin, and let them also continue.
I’m Roger Currie