Big Bucks and Baseball

The idea of overpaying for an athlete's services didn't start with A-Rod, and it won't end with him

In 1930 Babe Ruth was asked to justify his new annual salary, $80,000, which he was paid to hit baseballs a long way, in light of the fact that the President of the United States was making a mere 75 grand. "I had a better year than he did," Ruth replied. He wasn't wrong, certainly, but the carping continued.

In the eyes of some, athletes have always been paid too much. This view was given new currency when the Seattle Mariners' free-agent shortstop, Alex ("A-Rod") Rodriguez, last week signed a 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers for (no typo) $252 million....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!