Minor League Salaries: Can You Put a Price on a Dream?

Despite the sky-high salaries of Major League baseball players, the 6,000 non-union athletes who play in the minors are often paid less than minimum wage with no overtime. Some make as little as $6,500 over the entire season.

When thinking about baseball players, the word "underpaid" is probably not the first thing to come to your head. After all, the Major League minimum salary in 2014 was a cool $500k. The league's highest paid players brought in over $20 million. Yet most people don't realize that the vast majority of professional ballplayers make pennies compared to those at the top of the food chain. A terrific profile authored by Toronto Star reporter Brendan Kennedy this past week sheds light on the 6,000+ minor leaguers who play entire seasons (including Spring Training) for as little as $6,250. 


A lawsuit filed earlier this year by several dozen former players accuses Major League Baseball, an organization that boasts billions of dollars in revenue, of failing to pay its minor leaguers minimum wage. As Kennedy notes, competing narratives about baseball-as-job and baseball-as-dream stifle any possibilities of unionization:

"There is a dissonance that occurs in every conversation with a minor-league player. When they talk about their commitment to the team and what’s expected of them, they use the language of employment: This is a business. I gotta do my job. This is what we get paid to do. But when the topic of their actual salaries comes up, they fall back on a different kind of cliché: You can’t put a price on a dream. We play a kid’s game. I’m doing what I love... the biggest roadblock to unionization is the players’ reluctance to rock the boat for fear of risking their careers."

So the question becomes whether or not you can put a price on following your dreams. Many ballplayers have answered that with "no" and continue plodding along, competing day-in and day-out for meager pay in hopes of one day reaching the bigs. Others, admittedly a minority, realize that their labor is supporting an industry that makes a lot of people very, very rich and that it's not outrageous to want a fair cut of the profits.

Take a look at Kennedy's terrific full piece (linked below), definitely worth a full read.

Read more at the Toronto Star

Photo credit: Aspen Photo / Shutterstock

The world and workforce need wisdom. Why don’t universities teach it?

Universities claim to prepare students for the world. How many actually do it?

Photo: Take A Pix Media / Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Many university mission statements do not live up to their promise, writes Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva, a university designed to develop intellect over content memorization.
  • The core competencies that students need for success—critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and cross-cultural understanding, for example—should be intentionally taught, not left to chance.
  • These competencies can be summed up with one word: wisdom. True wisdom is the ability to apply one's knowledge appropriately when faced with novel situations.
Keep reading Show less

What the world will look like in the year 250,002,018

This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now

On Pangaea Proxima, Lagos will be north of New York, and Cape Town close to Mexico City
Surprising Science

To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.

Keep reading Show less

From zero to hero in 18 years: How SpaceX became a nation-state

SpaceX's momentous Crew Dragon launch is a sign of things to come for the space industry, and humanity's future.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk celebrates after the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the manned Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center on May 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Earlier in the day NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley lifted off an inaugural flight and will be the first people since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 to be launched into space from the United States.

Photo:Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • SpaceX was founded in 2002 and was an industry joke for many years. Eighteen years later, it is the first private company to launch astronauts to the International Space Station.
  • Today, SpaceX's Crew Dragon launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS. The journey will take about 19 hours.
  • Dylan Taylor, chairman and CEO of Voyager Space Holdings, looks at SpaceX's journey from startup to a commercial space company with the operating power of a nation-state.
Keep reading Show less

Six-month-olds recognize (and like) when they’re being imitated

A new study may help us better understand how children build social cognition through caregiver interaction.

Personal Growth
  • Scientists speculate imitation helps develop social cognition in babies.
  • A new study out of Lund University shows that six-month-olds look and smile more at imitating adults.
  • Researchers hope the data will spur future studies to discover what role caregiver imitation plays in social cognition development.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Scroll down to load more…