One Thing That Always Bugged Me About the Movie 'Major League'

Social Navigation

One Thing That Always Bugged Me About the Movie ‘Major League’

Baseball Is Fun

I spent the morning before Thanksgiving fighting with people online about my ranking of the top-20 baseball movies … just like the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. But in so doing, I started going back over some of the movies in my head, when I revisited something that always bothered me: The implicit pity at the salary of our protagonist, Jake Taylor.

Do you remember this scene? In short, Jake crashes the fancy home of his ex-girlfriend (wife?), and her new “high-society” boyfriend and friend group. The new boyfriend attempts to belittle Jake for … being a Major League Baseball player (?) by pointing out that the Indians are in last place. In attempt to cut through the awkwardness, one of the friends says the following “I’ve heard baseball players make very good salaries these days.”

Jake responds by saying “Well, that depends on how good they are, I guess.” Naturally, the friend retorts “Well how good are you?”

And here is Jake’s reply:

Somehow “I make the league minimum” draws the room to a halting, awkward silence. And that always bugged me. I get that the lead up makes that sound like he’s not all that good, but he’s still a big leaguer (for a team that would ultimately make the playoffs). But more importantly, the league minimum isn’t that bad!

I looked it up!

Back in 1989, when the movie came out, the league minimum salary was $68,000. That’s well-above the median household salary for Cleveland, Ohio in 1989. But to put it in better perspective, an inflation calculator has that at $163,425 in present day dollars. That’s pretty darn good!

But we can be even more generous.

This movie came out in 1989, but let’s say it took place during the 1990 season. That year, the Major League minimum salary jumped up to $100,000, which would put his salary at $228,012.24! That’s a ton of money! On top of being literally a professional athlete. I just hate that they “feel bad” for him. Or, at least, I don’t think it makes very much sense in what is otherwise one of my favorite baseball movies of all-time.

Latest from Bleacher Nation:

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami