1903 Boston Pilgrims/Google Images

Baseball History: Post Season Shares of the First Half Century

Though not the largest winning shares in post season baseball history the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals earnings of $323,170 makes those from the first half century of World Series play look like pennies. Here are some interesting winning shares facts from 1903 to 1954.

The first winners of the World Series actually got smaller shares than the losers. The 1903 Boston Pilgrims earned $1,182 per man for defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates losing share totaled out to $1,361.25. The reason was that Pittsburgh players were given the owners share of the gate. This was one time in baseball history where losing paid.

Ten years later, rumor spread that up three games to one the Philadelphia Athletics were told to lose game five of the 1913 Series to the New York Giants. The team had already sold tickets for game six and if they clinched in five would have to refund the money. Since teams only split game receipts from the first four games only the owners would pocket money from a game six. Athletics owner Connie Mack told his team that if they won game five he would give them the game receipts from it.

Baseball history may have seen it’s first World Series scandal if Philadelphia had lost, but the A’s defeated the Giants 3-1 and wrapped up the Series earning $3,246.36 per man.

An interesting fact about the 1919 World Series is that if the eight Chicago White Sox who helped fix it had played to win they would have gotten the biggest share in Series history to that point. The winning Cincinnati Reds pocketed $5,207.07 which was over $4,000 more than the $1,102.51 the Boston Red Sox made for winning in 1918.

The 1918 Red Sox winning Series shares are the lowest in baseball history.

The 1923 World Series was the first played at Yankee Stadium and the first to gross over $1,000,000. This allowed the winning New York Yankees to take home $6,143.49 per man.

In 1933 their cross town National League rivals the Giants weren’t so lucky. In the midst of the Great Depression the Giants took home $4,256.72 a piece. This was $1,886.77 less than the ’23 Yankees earned.

With World War II raging in 1943 the Yankees earned $6,139.46 for beating the Cardinals. Still a little less than the ’23 Yankees.

The first team in baseball history to earn over $10,000 for winning the Series was the 1954 New York Giants. For beating the Cleveland Indians the Giants made $11,147.90 per man.

To show how far post season shares have come if a man had played on all eight of these winning teams he would have taken home a grand total of $38,425.51. In one post season the Cardinals made $284,744.49 more.

St. Louis’ winning shares aren’t the most in baseball history, but it’s plenty more than their forefather’s made.

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