What Would They Earn Today? (A Fun Exercise In Player Comparisons)
The people at Digital Element reached out to us to share a project they recently completed comparing past greats of the game to current players. They worked to determine what those greats’ salaries would be today:
Geolocation and IP intelligence company, Digital Element, has used its big data expertise to pit players of yesteryear with the modern-day heroes of the game and find out how much baseball’s greatest legends would earn if they played the game now. This provides a really interesting look at the financial changes in the game, and they’ve even created some original baseball card mock-ups of ball players from the past to go with it – the perfect tonic for a time when pro sports are off the agenda! With baseball being America’s pastime, Digital Element took a trip through the Hall of Fame to revisit the careers of some of our most beloved stars ever to take the baseball field, creating stunning images of them in their ‘new’ team’s uniform. This included: • Babe Ruth (compared to Mookie Betts) – $33,575,980 – Boston Red Sox • Ty Cobb (compared to Cody Bellinger) – $39,428,571 – Los Angeles Dodgers • Joe DiMaggio (compared to Yoenis Céspedes) – $40,537,634 – New York Mets Digital Element’s co-founder and executive vice president, as well as baseball expert, Rob Friendman commented on the research, “We’re used to dealing with huge amounts of data on a daily basis, so wanted to put our expertise into a fun scenario… to show the huge money in baseball today”
The following in an excerpt from their article:
Walter Johnson Vs Gerrit Cole
Having just made a big move to the New York Yankees for the 2020 season, Gerrit Cole is possibly regarded as the hottest pitching property in MLB. Cole was the 2019 MLB strikeout leader and has been a three-time all-star. Walter ‘The Big Train’ Johnson played his entire career as a Washington Senator and still holds the all-time record for shutouts at 110 – over 90 years since his last game. He was one of the first five players inducted into the Hall of Fame as is still regarded as one of the greatest pitchers the game has ever seen.
Gerrit Cole just signed the biggest MLB contract for a pitcher at $38 million a year for the New York Yankees. If the Yankees were to sign Walter Johnson in the modern game, thanks to his superior earned run average of 2.17, they could expect to pay him $53,419,354 per season – that’s an increase of 305,153% on his 1914 salary.
You can access the entire article here: