Former Major League pitcher Nolan Ryan was the first professional athlete to earn $1 million a year. On Nov. 19, 1979, Ryan signed a four-year contract with the Houston Astros that paid him $1 million for each year.Know More
A little over two years later, George Foster became baseball’s first $2 million man when he signed a deal with the New York Mets prior to the 1982 season. Kirby Puckett reached the $3 million mark when he re-signed with the Minnesota Twins just after the end of the 1989 season.
It was during the 1990s that salaries for MLB players skyrocketed. After the 2000 season, Alex Rodriguez signed a 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers that paid him $21 million for the first year of the deal, with escalations promised throughout the length of the contract. Rodriguez eventually opted out of that contract, only to sign a deal with the New York Yankees during the 2007 World Series that reached a high mark of $33 million for the 2009 season.Learn more about Athletes
As of 2014, National Basketball Association players received the highest average salary among the four major American sports. NBA players averaged $4.5 million per year. In America, the next-highest paid athletes played Major League Baseball and averaged $3.9 million a year.Full Answer >
As of 2013, the average salary of an NFL player is $1.9 million. Seventy percent of the players in the NFL, who also happen to be between the ages of 22 and 27, make less than the league average.Full Answer >
In May 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that umpires, referees and other sports officials have a yearly average income of $37,170. The salaries of different college football referees vary depending on the region, their years of experience and the size of the school.Full Answer >
The only two days of the year on which no professional sports games are played in the United States are the day before and the day after the All-Star Game for Major League Baseball. As of June 2014, the All-Star game has always been played in the month of July.Full Answer >