Quote of the day

I love the challenge of the game. I love the work. My goal right now is to have a season next year that will make people forget about this one. I’ll use things like this for motivation. I’m pumped. I’m hungry.

~Alex Rodriguez




Infographic: Career hitting records

Here’s another great infographic depicting record holders for the most career singles, doubles, triples, home runs, and grand slams — as of 2009.  The one out-of-date piece of information on here is in the grand slam category, as Alex Rodriguez passed Gehrig’s record in 2013 with his 24th career grand slam.

Mike Wirth Art
Mike Wirth Art

This day in baseball: The Iron Horse’s final slam

On August 20, 1938, Lou Gehrig hit a grand slam in the first inning against Philadelphia’s Buck Ross.  It was the twenty-third, and final, grand slam of the Iron Horse’s career, which extended his career Major League record.  The Yankees went on to defeat the Athletics 11-3.  The record has since been broken by Alex Rodriguez, with 25 grand slams.

Lou Gehrig Holding Three Baseball Bats
Portrait of New York Yankees first baseman, Lou Gehrig (1903 – 1941), seated with three baseball bats over his shoulder, circa 1930s. (Photo by Pictorial Parade/Getty Images)

This day in baseball: Lou Gehrig’s first grand slam

Lou Gehrig hit his first grand slam home run on July 23, 1925.  It would prove to be the difference in the game as the Yankees defeated the Senators 11-7.  Over the course of his seventeen-year career with New York, Gehrig would hit a record-setting 23 grand slams, a mark since broken only by Alex Rodriguez, who finished his careers with 25.

Lou Gehrig, 1923 (public domain)

This day in baseball history: The Babe’s 1930 contract

On 8 March 1930, baseball legend Babe Ruth signed a two-year contract with the New York Yankees for $160,000, thus making him the highest paid player of all time (up to that point, anyways).  In the midst of the Great Depression, this contract definitely raised some eyebrows.

At $80,000 per year, someone pointed out, Ruth now had a higher salary than the President of the United States, Herbert Hoover.  Ruth’s response?  “So what?  I had a better year than he did.”  Ruth went on to lead the American League with 49 home runs that year.

Now, let’s take this a step further.  I’m not one for doing the math myself, but I did a little poking around, curious to see how Ruth’s contract measures up to some of the big contracts in Major League Baseball today.  Taking into consideration things such as cost of living and inflation, Ruth’s $80,000 in 1930 would have been worth $1,027,895 in 2005.  The average Major League salary in 2005 was $2,476,589.

Wait… what?

That’s right.  In 2005, the average Major League ballplayer made more than double what the great Babe Ruth made.  Meanwhile, the highest-paid ballplayer today, Alex Rodriguez, made a whopping $26,000,000.

What a difference 75 years makes!  No doubt, had the country not been in the midst of the Depression, Ruth’s salary would have been higher.  But would he have made the equivalent of A-Rod’s $26 million?  Somehow, I doubt it.


“2005 MLB Top 25 Player Salaries.”  USA Today.  Gannett, 2012.  Web.  Accessed 8 March 2013.  http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/baseball/mlb/salaries/player/top-25/2005

“Major League Baseball Salaries.”  Baseball Almanac.  Baseball-Almanac, 2000-2013.  Web.  Accessed 8 March 2013.  http://www.baseball-almanac.com/charts/salary/major_league_salaries.shtml

Riess, Steven A.  Touching Base: Professional Baseball and American Culture in the Progressive Era.  Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1980.

“Was Babe Ruth Underpaid?”  EconEdLink: Economics & Personal Finance Resources for K-12.  Council for Economic Education, 2013.  Web.  Accessed 8 March 2013.  http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/index.php?lid=604&type=educator