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Thursday Night Reading/Viewing

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  • Tiger and Expos fans may be interested in this story about Ron LeFlore, who Billy Martin (who else?) discovered in the Jackson State Pen, leading to a 1100 game career.  I have a special affection for him since he was the leadoff hitter for the first team I consciously followed.   Most salient point for the non-baseball audience: he hasn’t had medical insurance in several years.
  • Keri notes that, albeit far too late given its longstanding jihad against YouTube, MLB has opened some of its archives.  (I was at the famous Reggie Sanders/Pedro game too.)   And, indeed, it’s addictively easy to find lots of old memories captured on film.

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  • jim, some guy in iowa

    the leflore article reminds me of something i wonder about: so many athletes, entertainers, etc. make megabucks for a few short years and wind up more or less broke. it seems like a good argument for removing the income cap on social security – or am i missing something…

    • c u n d gulag

      Remember, he played in an era when the salary was still relatively low compared to todays players.

      I don’t find it particularly shocking that players from before the $1+ million per year salaries are broke.
      Back then, early in their careers, Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Frank and Brooks Robinson’s, Kaline, etc., all had to have off-season jobs.

      LeFlore started playing in the early stages of the Free Agent Era, when players started getting more of the owners money. He was already 26, and only had a 9 year career. He didn’t make millions a year – not even if you convert his salary to today’s money.

      So, could he have managed his money better?
      I don’t know.
      Maybe.
      Who am I to say, since I’ve got nothing either?

      • Bill Murray

        according to baseball reference he made $75,000 in 1977, which is $250,000 to $300,000 today. He played 9 years and 1977 was his fourth. My guess is his total earnings in baseball were around $1 million

        • c u n d gulag

          Yes, but while the salaries in baseball became more inflated, so did the rest of our economy.

          It would take a lot of very careful planning to have made what he earnend in those 9 years, last for the rest of his life.
          I’m not saying he couldn’t have done it. I’m just saying that it wouldn’t have been easy.

          Just think of all of the economic bubbles, rises and falls, in the last 30 years – from near run-away inflation, to the S&L fiasco, to the dot-com and housing bubbles.
          How can we expect a former baseball player to make his earnings last a lifetime, when a lot of much more savvy financail investors lost their shirts?
          Especially when the salaries then, were not anywhere even close to what they are now?

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            i was just thinking if he’d paid more in that he’d be getting back more of it now and it might make things a bit easier for him – not so much that he’d be ‘set’

  • Ron LeFlore – I constantly use him as an example of how people who become professional athletes are meant to be professional athletes and those who think they might have been capable or know someone who might have been capable of being a pro athlete are just kidding themselves.

    If you have pro talent, you’ll stick out and some one will find you. Whether it’s 8th grade, prison, Africa, Australia, or anywhere else.

  • Reggie Sanders charging Pedro is one of the dumbest, and funniest, things I’ve ever seen.

  • wengler

    That Marniers clip is one of the best non-Twins baseball memories that I have.

    Also Luis Gonzalez hitting his game-winning single in Game 7 2001.

    The Yankees losing is the common denominator.

  • Anonymous

    Love Ron LeFlore; I hope he can hang in there until the Medicare kicks in. The Tigers brought him up in mid-1974, and I’ll never forget seeing him steal a base in this game.

    How about that? A complete game duel between Mickie Lolich and Frank Tanana. Tied in the bottom of the 8th on a home run by Eddie Brinkman, of all people.

    Our cleaning lady’s daughter was dating Ron at the time and got him to sign the scorecard for us.

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