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Comments (12)

Best Response
Mar 12, 2007 - 9:43am

Every professional athlete wishes they were a pro baseball player.

1) They sign the biggest contracts with the most guaranteed money because they play the longest seasons. (81 home games with 30,000 in the seats paying $40 a piece is $100 mm +/- in revenue off ticket stubs alone).

2) Because of the lack of physcial strain (non-pitchers), decent position players in MLB can easily have 15-20 year careers. For pitchers, arm wear down is a factor, but they are paid a premium. Looking at free agents this year, even BAD pitchers were given like 4 year, $40 million with $15 mil up front.

In NFL, NBA, NHL there is a lot more wear and tear so less money is guaranteed and careers are going to be shorter. So in the NFL you can just get cut and that's it...in baseball they still have to pay you.

3) There is no salary cap, so theoretically teams can spend whatever they want!!!

Example: a top 15 NFL running back plays 10 years and retired at 32. He signed 3 contracts: his rookie through year 3 which paid him about $2 mm annually. (tl = $6 mm). Then he signed a 5 year deal worth $25 mm but got cut after the 4th year, the day before he was supposed to get a $7 million roster bonus. Now he gets no bonus and has to go elsewhere (tl = 7 years, $26 mm). So, he signs another 5 year deal for $20 million. After the 3rd year he tears his ACL and can never play again and gets released to save $8 mil in cap room. He retires with 10 years and career earnings of $38 million(Obviously taxes/expenses withheld). He also needs a cane by the age of 40 and has to have both knees, both hips, and shoulders replaced by 50.

An average every day MLB player is 18 years old and signs a 5 year $10 mil contract. At 23 he signs another 5 year deal, this time for $20 million. He gets waived a couple years in but the team still pays part of his money while another team that signs him picks up the rest of his contract. At the end of this deal he is 28 and already has $30 mm in the bag. His team goes deep into the playoffs and he is an everyday player, so they resign him for 6 years and $35 mm. By the time this is done he is 34 with $65 mm in the bank. As a free agent pick up he will "finish his career" with Team XYZ at 5 years and $30 mm. He develops hamstring issues that wreck his ability to field the ball and he isn't a good enough hitter to be a AL DH, so he drops to AAA but still gets paid his contract. No matter, he retires and takes the money with him. End product is 39 years old with lifetime earnings of $95 million. His hammies recover and he has no chronic issues.

He takes his $95 mil and good health and buys a car dealership and 10 Burger Kings that combined personally gross him another $3.5 mil a year.

The top 15 NFL running back dies at 65 after spending the last 10 years of his life with 24 hour medical care that dwindled his estate down to nothing.

The average MLB guy is 60 and gets $3 mm a year off his interest alone and can play with his grandkids everyday. He does have slightly arthritic hands, but who doesnt at that point?

Which would you rather be?

Mar 13, 2007 - 11:29am
raider4ever:
Every professional athlete wishes they were a pro baseball player.

He also needs a cane by the age of 40 and has to have both knees, both hips, and shoulders replaced by 50.

This is very true. RB's and LB's are practically crippled when they retire, and the other positions leave pretty broken down bodies too.

Drew Henson probably did it best: make some money in baseball before it's determined you're a bust, and then go bust at football. You get some extra $$, and don't destroy your body in the process since you never play.

Mar 11, 2007 - 11:59pm

I'm in the interview process with Bain and (probably) McKinsey. I really just threw Goldman in there cuz everyone on this forum seems to enjoy talking about them so much, plus the prestige factor at all four seems to be roughly in line.

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Mar 12, 2007 - 12:00am

Why would you ask such a broad question? If you do have offers from those places, why are you not looking at long-term career goals, and basing your decision on that, rather than just asking what other people would pick?

Do you want to be in finance 5 years from now? Starting your own business? Working at a company? Working in PE? The answer to your question would depend on those factors. There isn't a universally better answer that would apply in all circumstances.

Mar 12, 2007 - 12:35am

is much tougher to get than GS coming from undergrad. since there are fewer spots. The opposite holds true for bschool grads. They are different animals. Both firms are very prestigious in their fields. Working at either one will help you get into a good bschool. If you want to do PE, banking will be more helpful. However, Bain places well into PE shops, especially if you can get a few projects in the PE practice. Banking will obviously pay more, but you will slave away more as well.

Mar 12, 2007 - 8:19pm

Not to be picky here Raider because your general idea that the exceptional Baseball players are paid more and live a better life than the exceptional football players is true; But at 18 years old the highest bonus ever given was 6.1MM to Justin Upton in 2005. I'm not sure on the specifics of the contract but generally high school draftees are given 6 year minor league contracts. The salaries for someone who has no major league service time, in the minors, ranges from $850-2400 paid monthly only during the season. A player isn't eligible for arbitration until they have 3 years of ML service time. They are paid any salary above the league minimum (327K) but average players don't see a big bump in their salary in the first 3 years. While the superstars of the league (Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera) are given salary increases the average player will have banked ~1MM+draft bonus after they have been called up and logged 3 years of service time. The average career length of approximately 2 years (http://danagonistes.blogspot.com/2006/07/career-length-musings.html) This means that the AVERAGE player doesn't even log 3 years of service time. Obviously there are outliers in both sports but I attempted to reenact the average MLB player. When drafted into the NFL there is no minor league and at least at the top of the draft there is a lot more guaranteed money. While we can see most of the first round draft picks on the field on Sundays, ~only %50 of first rounders make it to the majors.

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