Thursday, March 29, 2018

Fifty Years Ago

So that SI from 1968 got the pennant winners right, but only 4 of the remaining 18 spots in the two leagues.

Only 11 of the 20 teams drew over 1 million fans, and only St. Louis and Detroit, the pennant winners, drew over 2 million.

The highest AL team payroll was $605,000, total, for a Boston team that drew nearly 2 million fans. The Yankees drew almost 1.2 million, and had a payroll of $409,000—almost a quarter of it going to The Mick—meaning they made a healthy profit, too.

It's unimaginable that any team did not make money, even the Senators, who drew a little over half-a-million fans, but paid out only about a quarter-mill to their players.

SI listed the salaries of the Cards' starting lineup, which, with Gibson, came to all of $565,000. All told, the Cards paid out $651,000—and drew $1.7 million just in "advance sales," after their World Series win the year before.

It was a different world. The Cardinals had been christened "El Birdos," because they had all of two Hispanic players on the roster, Orlando Cepeda and Julian Javier. Gibson threw 24 complete games, and was NEVER relieved on the mound by his manager. Denny McLain won 31 games.

What will the game be fifty years from now?

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