Thorn: Big-league ballplayers as business men

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on November 20, 2016:

I can recall when Ron Santo ran a pizza parlor; when Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto worked in a men’s clothing store; when Jackie Robinson sold television sets at Sunset Appliances in Rego Park (less than a mile from my home); when Monte Irvin and Willie Mays ran a liquor store in Brooklyn, of all places.

Long before then, ballplayers kept body and soul together in the offseason by returning to their farms or coaching college boys or overseeing a laundry or a nickelodeon. Of possible interest in this hot-stove season of free agency and $17.2 million single-season qualifying offers: what ballplayers did to make money off the field a century ago, when only a handful of them could survive without other work.

At a time when everyone is projecting future deals, future lineups, and (redundantly) future prospects, you may enjoy this retrospective look, from Recreation & Outdoor World, August 1914.

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Originally published: November 21, 2016. Last Updated: November 21, 2016.