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
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 >
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 >
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 >
As of December of 2014, the highest-paid soccer player on one of England's soccer teams is Wayne Rooney, who is a striker for the Manchester United Red Devils, and he makes $23.4 million per year. Of this amount, Rooney makes $5 million annually from endorsements.Full Answer >