History of compensation... Major League Baseball rose to prominence as "America's favorite pastime" during the 1920s due to the influence of legendary slugger Babe Ruth, whose home run hitting packed stadiums.

At the height of his career, Babe Ruth was paid $80,000 per year, an incredible sum at the time (he earned more than then-President Hoover) but barely over $1 million dollars in today’s terms. The highest paid player in baseball for 13 consecutive years, Ruth's salary was 2.4 times greater than the second highest salary earned that year (Rogers Hornsby), a record that has never been broken. In contrast, the majority of players averaged $5,000 per year and often supplemented their income with off-season jobs in order to make ends meet.

In 1920 baseball teams were valued at less than $800,000 while today they are worth $286 million.


Tomorrow... the move to big bucks