Waldstein: Postseason paychecks are all about sharing

From David Waldstein at the New York Times on October 4, 2014:

In October 1903, after his Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Boston Americans in the first World Series, Barney Dreyfuss was so appreciative of his players’ noble efforts that he bestowed a bonus.

He gave the players his net proceeds from the Series, and did not even subtract the money he had lost gambling on his team. The total was $1,316.25 to each player, which was $341 more than the winners received. The players in turn gave Dreyfuss a gold watch and shared some of the proceeds with the groundskeeper and the trainer.

Some things have changed since that inaugural World Series. If an owner today were to bet on his team, he would be barred from the sport, and the players rarely give watches to their billionaire owners anymore. But the concept of bonuses is alive and well. All the players in this postseason, including the multimillionaire Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, who recently said he did not want the money, just a championship ring, will receive cuts.

Last year, a full share for the World Series-winning Red Sox was about $307,000, and this year should be just as profitable. The champions will divide 36 percent of a pool of money that is generated from postseason gate receipts, just as it was in 1903.

Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/05/sports/postseason-paychecks-are-all-about-sharing.html

Originally published: October 4, 2014. Last Updated: October 4, 2014.