Market Power

Musings by an academic economist on the power of markets and the power over markets.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Free Agency History in Baseball

Jerome Holtzman has this little history about the beginning of free agency in baseball. I like this quote from long ago:

"This was just over a quarter of a century ago but only two teams, the Phillies and Yankees, had player payrolls in excess of $3 million; today it's the cost of an experienced utility infielder. The average Phillies' salary was $139,916 while the Yankees' checked in at $138,973, each more than twice the average. There were cries of doom. Bankruptcies were inevitable.... "

It's been over a quarter century and not only did no team become bankrupt during that time, no team moved to greener pastures until this year. That's a remarkable period of stability for professional sports in the US.