Being a World Champion has its perks, not the least of which is a check for $438,901.57. That’s what a full postseason share is worth for the Houston Astros, a record-setting amount according to Major League Baseball. The National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers’ shares were worth $259,722.14 each.
Each share’s value is determined by the size of the players’ pool, and this season that pool was bigger than ever.
The players’ pool consists of percentages of gate receipts as follows: 50% from the Wild Card games plus 60% from the first three games of the Division Series, the first four games of the League Championship Series, and the first four games of the World Series. Taken together, that came to a record total of $84,500,432.15 this season.
By comparison, the last time the Red Sox went to the World Series in 2013, the players’ pool totaled $62,683,966.80.
All 10 teams that participated in the postseason split the pool relative to their performance. 36% of the pool’s total value ($30.4 million) went to the Astros, 24% of it ($20.3 million) was sent to the Dodgers.
This season’s League Championship runners-up, the Cubs and the Yankees, earned 12% of the pool ($10.1 million each). As Division Series runners-up, the Sox, Diamondbacks, Indians, and Nationals each got 3.25% of the total ($2.7 million each). The Rockies and Twins, the Wild Card runners-up, are entitled to 1.5% of the pool ($1.3 million each).
Each team splits its award into equal shares and votes in advance as to how those shares will be distributed. Full shares go to players, but full or partial shares are often awarded to coaches or training staff members. The more shares awarded, of course, the less each share is worth.
In 2007, the National League Champion Rockies gave a full share, worth nearly a quarter million dollars, to the widow of former big leaguer Mike Coolbaugh, who was tragically killed by a line drive to the head while working as first base coach in a Rockies minor league game (it was that event that led to MLB’s mandate for first and third base coaches to wear helmets, rather than ball caps).
This year’s Red Sox elected to issue 65 full shares, 10.01 partial shares, and make six cash awards of lesser amounts. All told, each Sox share was worth $36,438.21.
The 2013 World Champion Red Sox awarded 58 full shares, 14.895 partial shares and made 21 cash awards. Each Boston share was worth $307,322.68.