Baseball Almanac is pleased to present an eye-opening chart of Major League baseball salaries — including in red the minimum wage set forth by the Major League Baseball Player Association and in green, the average salary paid to players during the regular season.
"Sure it's a lot of money, but look, the stadiums are full and look at the money they are making off television. The industry generates that kind of revenue and without the players, who's going to watch? Joe Blow can't play at this level." - Texas Rangers First Baseman David Segui (CNN/SI, 'Mo Money', 04/06/2000)
Minimum Wage & Average Salary Data
National Basketball Association players averaged $4.9 million in the 2003-2004 season, according to a preliminary estimate by their union, which did not provide a figure for the current season. In the National Hockey League, where a lockout canceled the current season, players averaged $1.83 million in 2003-2004. National Football League players averaged $1.33 million last year, according to their union.
Players, like Royce Clayton in the following quote, can be heard saying, "It's just part of revenue When they're selling organizations for more than $300 million, that's a lot of money and a lot of wealth to be spread around. It's not greed; we are not trying to take more than what's in the pot. It's in the pot, so we just distribute it however they feel each player's worth is." Owners on the other hand, like Jerry Colangelo of the Arizona Diamonbacks , can be heard saying, "If the salaries continue to escalate and you don't have revenues that come close to staying even, then you're in trouble, and that's where we are. I don't think anyone could say it's a healthy sign. There needs to be a change in the economic system. That's just clear and distinct."
How do you feel about the salaries being paid to modern Major League players? Did you know that in the Year in Review section we have both the minimum wage and average salary paid for every season starting with 1970? The teams are generating the revenue so the profits need to be distributed somewhere. Would you prefer it be given to management or the players? Should the prices be reduced and savings passed on to the fans? Share you opinion on Baseball Fever .