Personal Finance 

What Players Earn for Winning Baseball World Series

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Baseballs & LegendsThis doesn’t really have much to do with personal finance, other than it includes a few numbers, but I figured since we were knee deep in the baseball post-season, why not do something fun? Ever wonder what players get for winning the World Series?

Winning the World Series is prize enough for the players involved but did you know that they also get a cash payout too? In fact, if you play in the playoffs at all, you will get paid whether you win or lose. Obviously, the further you advance, the greater the cash payout is.

Player’s Pool

60% of the total gate receipts form the first four World Series Games, 60% of the total gate receipts from the first four games of the American League Championship and National League Championship, and 60% of the total gate receipts of the first three games of each of the four Division series are put into a “Player’s Pool.”

Payout Schedule

That pool is distributed to players as follows:

  • World Series Winning Team: 36%
  • World Series Losing Team: 24%
  • League Championship Series Losers: 12% each
  • Division Series Losers: 3% each
  • Non-Wild Card Second Place Teams: 1% each

In 2008, each Philadelphia Phillies player was paid $351,504.48 for winning the World Series and each Tampa Bay Rays player pocketed $223,390.05. The record payout for a winner was back in 2006 when the St. Louis Cardinals took the trophy and $362,173. To put that in perspective, in 1903 the winner’s share was a mere $1,182 (gate receipts courtesy of Baseball Almanac).

On top of all that, players also get a championship ring valued at anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000 depending on how opulent the owner of the team is.

And if you’re named the World Series MVP? You get a car and a trip to Walt Disney World. 🙂

(Photo: design-dog)

{ 18 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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18 Responses to “What Players Earn for Winning Baseball World Series”

  1. saladdin says:

    And the players can vote on who receives shares. Lots of times players will vote 1/2 or 3/4 of a winning share to players who were on the roster throughout the year but who may not have played in a lot of games or got on the playoff rosters.

    I think the Cardinals voted the families of Kile and Hancock playoff shares after their deaths.


  2. This can really be significant for some of the younger (and lower paid) players.

    I believe the Rockies also voted some sort of a share for the widow of Mike Coolbaugh back in ’07. Coolbaugh was a minor league coach who was killed when hit by a batted ball.

    The inclusion of the non-wild card second place teams seems a bit odd to me. Particularly since it’s possible that a THIRD place team in the wild card’s division might have a better record than the second place team in other division.

    In fact, this happened in the National League this year. The best record of any non-playoff team in the NL was the Giants – who finished third in the West. They get shut out of the money, while teams with fewer wins are included.

    To make it even worse, baseball has an unbalanced scheduled (roughly 18 games against division opponents and 6 vs. non-division opponents) so the Giants had a much tougher road to hoe to get to their record.

    I’m a bit of a baseball geek. I have a printed copy of the current collective bargaining agreement at my desk 🙂 And I DO refer to it on ocassion.

    • Teo Perez says:

      I consider my brother BB guru and he cant anwer this simple one:
      How much is Carlos Torres ( from my hometown Aguada,Puerto Rico)getting paid presently?)
      Is he under contract?.
      Kudos to you!

  3. zapeta says:

    Well, I guess I should have played more baseball instead of studying when I was young. I didn’t know that the players got to vote on who receives the shares though.

  4. Jason Unger says:

    Great post – I never had any idea there was an additional financial bonus to making the playoffs!

    • Damon Day says:

      ya, I had no idea either. I don’t follow baseball that closely but I have a lot of friends and family that do. I don’t even think they know about players actually getting a nice extra chunk of change for winning the series. I figured they got a heck of a nice ring, bragging rights and extra endorsements for a year. 350K can be a nice chunk of change if you are not a star player and only making 100K a year or whatever the lower players get paid. Certainly something to play for.

      • saladdin says:

        By union contract minimum salary for player is 400K.


        • Damon Day says:

          wow, like I said, I don’t know much about it. 400K as a minimum? I guess I should have stuck with baseball in High school. Sit on the bench, where your ball cap upside down when you are losing, eat some sunflower seeds, get a great view of the game, and you only get 400K a year. That has to be rough 🙂

          • You’re probably only half serious about this … but I’ll respond.

            It’s the minimum, for the the 750ish players on the MLB rosters. Bear in mind that the last guy on the bench could have dominated most high school teams … elite performers in a lot of industries are very well compensated – compare to the top 750 politicians (congress + governors), managers (CEOs), lawyers, stock brokers, computer programmers (hint: look at the guys who founded some of the big tech companies).

            The interesting thing about sports is that there is a specific line in the land that seperates the elite from the non-elite. There is no such line in the sand for computer programmers …

    • saladdin says:

      Roy Oswalt was given a bulldozer as a bonus one year (not a playoff bonus just a “good year” bonus).

      There are some weird extras in players contracts. One guy required a case of jello and there have been many bonuses for staying under a certain weight.


  5. eric says:

    I apologize if I’m being ignorant (since the only sport I follow closely enough is tennis) but that doesn’t seem too much to me in term of the professional athletic world.

    For example, Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro just won the US Open on the women’s and men’s side respectively and each got north of a million dollars. Of course this doesn’t take into account endorsements and such…just prize money.

    • A couple of different issues come into play:

      1) The winning team is splitting the money into dozens of shares, as opposed to just one (or two, in the case of doubles) people on a winning tennis team.

      2) This is not the main source of revenue for baseball players, but more of a “tip” for a job well done (or, alternately, overtime pay). Elite players can make upwards of 20M per season as an actual salary.

      The interesting thing is that it is in the best financial interest of players to limit the number of shares. They get a pool of X dollars … voting more shares to role players, coaches, etc dilutes the value of each share. Nonetheless, they often do the “right thing” and give partial shares to people they aren’t obligated to include.

  6. daemondust says:

    How can these, or any sports, players be worth this much?

    • Jim says:

      Why are CEOs of public companies paid so much? Why do movie stars make as much as they do? Supply and demand.

      • Wayne says:

        If you could hit a 99 mph pitch with only .027 seconds to determine the movement and location of the pitch, not to mention be faster, stronger and more nimble than 99% of all human beings then you would get paid too.

  7. frank Molino says:

    only a very small percentage of professional ball players earn the really huge salaries that we mostly talk about..these players make the game exciting and they bring in the fans.

  8. JIM says:

    Back in the day , the money in the playoffs was a big thing. Now what they get if they win the world series is way less than what they make. I’m not sure but is the minimum pay for the 25th man about 450,00? It used to be they couldn’t wait to get as far as they could in the playoffs. Now its just spending money to them

  9. Nan says:

    that’s insane !!!!

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