Tag Archives: MLB



These aren’t your father’s Yankees anymore. The New York Yankees were sold for $2.5 million on this date in 1945. If the Yankees were sold today, the asking price would be about 1400 times more than that – $3.7 BILLION, with a “B”.

MLB team values continue to skyrocket. The increases are almost incomprehensible. Even comparing for inflation, they’re way beyond the hikes in costs of everything else.

Here is Forbes Magazine’s comparison of team values in just the 10-year span from 2007 to 2017:

                                                                                            2007              2017
1. New York Yankees         $1.2B             $3.7B
2. Los Angeles Dodgers      $632M             $2.75B 
3. Boston Red Sox           $724M             $2.7B
4. Chicago Cubs             $592M             $2.68B
5. San Francisco Giants     $459M             $2.65B 
6. New York Mets            $736M             $2.0B    
7. St. Louis Cardinals      $460M             $1.8B 
8. LA Angels of Anaheim     $431M             $1.75B
9. Philadelphia Phillies    $457M             $1.65B 10. Washington Nationals    $447M             $1.6B
11. Texas Rangers           $365M             $1.55B
12. Atlanta Braves          $458M             $1.5B
13. Houston Astros          $442M             $1.45B  14. Seattle Mariners        $436M             $1.4B
15. Chicago White Sox       $381M             $1.35B
16. Toronto Blue Jays       $344M             $1.3B
17. Pittsburgh Pirates      $274M             $1.25B
18. Detroit Tigers          $357M             $1.2B
19. Baltimore Orioles       $395M             $1.18B 20. Arizona Diamondbacks    $339M             $1.15B
21. San Diego Padres        $367M             $1.13B
22. Minnesota Twins         $288M             $1.03B 
23. Colorado Rockies        $317M             $1.0B
24. Kansas City Royals      $282M             $950M
25. Miami Marlins           $244M             $940M 26. Milwaukee Brewers       $287M             $925M
27. Cleveland Indians       $364M             $915M
28. Cincinnati Reds         $307M             $915M 29. Oakland A's             $292M             $880M 30. Tampa Bay Rays          $267M             $825M

In 2007 one team (the Yankees) was worth a billion dollars. In 2017, 23 of the 30 teams were worth at least a billion dollars.

Everything costs more today than it did in 1945:

  • The average cost of a new home today ($371,200) is 81 times what it was in 1945 ($4,600).
  • The average cost of a gallon of gas today ($2.43) is 16 times greater than the average gallon in 1945 ($0.15).

But the value of the New York Yankees is 1,460 times greater than it was in 1945. And team values continue to skyrocket.

Contributing Sources:
Forbes Magazine
The New York Times, January 26, 1945
Census Bureau – home prices



Baseball great Willie Mays spoke out in favor of major league baseball owners on this date in baseball history.
The San Francisco Giant outfielder told broadcaster and former player Joe Garagiola, “If players control the game it is going to be bad. Owners must make some money, too.”
Mays’ comments were in reference to Curt Flood. The St. Louis Cardinals traded Flood to the Philadelphia Phillies. Flood refused to report in protest of baseball’s reserve clause which put the player’s future totally in the hands of the team that held his contract.
Mays didn’t criticize Flood, only saying, “That’s a personal thing. For myself I want to stay in San Francisco, but if the Giants traded me I would go.”
Flood sued Major League Baseball and the case went all the way to the United State Supreme Court. The Court ruled against Flood in 1972, saying that Major League Baseball was exempt from antitrust laws. But the case paved the way for free agency.
Flood only played 13 more games in his career and retired at age 33. Willie Mays was traded to the New York Mets in 1972. He retired in 1973.
Contributing source:
 Jack Hanley, The Daily Review, Hayward, California, January 18, 1970

March 17th in baseball history-“MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL” IS BORN

1871 | NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK – “Major league baseball” didn’t just happen, it evolved in fits and starts. One of those starts took place on this date in 1871. Representatives of ten clubs; some professional, some amateur, some amateur only in name, met at Collier’s Café on Broadway in New York City to form The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players.

Up until this time, baseball had been considered an amateur sport, but the Cincinnati Red Stockings led by former cricket player Harry Wright were an exception. They showed people would pay to see good baseball.

According to Leonard Koppett, author of Koppett’s Concise History of Major League Baseball, the Red Stockings drew an estimated 200,000 fans playing about 60 games around the country in 1869. In 1870 the Red Stockings played a memorable extra inning game before 20,000 paying customers in New York. The commercial viability of professional baseball was no longer in question.

The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players only lasted 5 years – and is not considered a “major league” by MLB – but several of its teams became the foundation of the National League, established in 1876 and going strong to this day.

Contributing sources:
Koppett’s Concise History of Major League Baseball, by Leonard Koppett, 2004
National Association of Professional Base-Ball Players
The National League


March 1 in baseball history-MANTLE RETIRES

1969 | FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA • An American icon of the 1950’s and 60’s retired on this date in 1969. Mickey Mantle made the announcement at the spring training home of the New York Yankees, ending an 18-year career.

It’s remarkable it lasted that long considering “Mick” endured a variety of injuries, mostly to his legs. In announcing his decision, Mantle revealed the frustrations of a proud athlete, he was only 37, whose body would not perform, “I don’t hit the ball when I need to. I can’t steal when I need to, I can’t score from second base when I need to.”

Mantle had superstar numbers, but they could have been better. He was the prototype 5-tool player when he came up to the Yankees at age 19 – run, hit, hit for power, throw and catch.

Early in his career he was described as the fastest player from home to first, but that was before leg injuries turned him into a 4-tool star.

Career statistics:

  • 3-time MVP
  • 16-time all-star
  • On 12 pennant winners
  • On 7 World Series championship teams
  • 536 home runs
  • .298 average
  • .421 on-base percentage
  • .557 slugging percentage

Contributing sources:
New York Times, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, March 2, 1969
More on Mantle

Feb 25th in baseball history-GETTING ALONG

1973 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Maybe major league baseball – players and owners – learned their lesson. There were eight work stoppages from 1972 to 1995, a span of 23 years, none since, a span of 22 years.

It could be because the last work stoppage, which started in 1994, almost destroyed the game. It wiped out the entire post season, including the World Series.

Players and owners alike knew fans were becoming disenchanted, or worse, indifferent, to the annual spring labor rituals.

There was good news on this date in 1973. The players’ union and team owners announced a new three-year agreement ending a lockout by the owners at the start of spring training. The ‘73 agreement instituted what has become as common as the hit & run – arbitration. After so many years in the league a player who couldn’t agree on a salary with his team could take the issue to arbitration.

Everyone was relieved with the ’73 agreement. Players and owners alike knew fans were becoming disenchanted, or worse, indifferent, to the annual spring labor rituals. Besides 1972 and 1973, there were work stoppages in 1980, 1981, 1985, 1990 and the devastating strike in 1994-95. Since 1995 – harmony. Knock on wood.

Contributing sources:
Herschel Nissenson, Associated Press (AP), The Gettysburg Times, February 26, 1973
“Pro Sports Lockouts and Strikes Fast Facts,” CNN, May 30, 2016