Your great-grandfather was arguing this one. This story ran on a feature page complete with graphic complete with a giant dollar sign and floating heads.
Bonus points if you can come up with the first names and teams of the All-Stars without reading the caption or story.
A wire feature published in the Daily Telegram February 18, 1917 with a spelling correction to the original headline:
Why Alexander Wants More Coin
Phillies great pitcher is paid less than any other great baseball star.
By Paul Purman.
For two years, Grover Cleveland Alexander, signed to a contract which called for $8,000 a year, has wistfully regarded the salaries of stars on other teams and wondered why they were so lucky.
Alexander knows he is the mainstay of the Philadelphia team; that is mainly due to his wonderful work in the box that the Phillies won the pennant in 1915 and were contenders until the last days of 1916.
And when President Baker of the Philly club offered him an $8,000 contract this year, Alexander promptly sent it back and asked for $15,000.
There may be some question as to whether Alexander is worth $15,000 a year but Alexander was the greatest pitcher in the world last year, with 33 games won out of 45, 16 of them being shutouts, and he figures he is worth at least as much as Walter Johnson, who is drawing $12,500 a year.
That there are inflated salaries in the major leagues is not questioned, but that any of the rally great stars are getting more than they are worth is doubtful.
Ty. Cobb is said to draw $20,000 and he is worth it. Cobb is the greatest drawing card in baseball and the value of his services cannot be estimated.
Tris Speaker’s contract calls for $15,000 a year. Speaker made the Cleveland club last year.
Eddie Collins gets $12,000 a year with the White Sox and it is doubtful if Comisky is sorry he is paying his biggest star that salary.
Walter Johnson makes $12,500 a year. He is Washington’s greatest asset.
Frank Baker draws $9,000 from the Yankees. Baker didn’t do much last year on account of injuries, but the owners believe he will be worth the money this season.
Honus Wagner draws $10,000. That he has earned it is not questioned.
Lee Magee holds a wartime contract for $9,000. He has yet to show he is entitled to that much money.
With the evidence submitted, isn’t Alexander entitled to more than $8,000.
Ty Cobb was as ruthless a negotiator as he was a baseball player but the owners had the upper hand in most negotiations in the first three quarters of the 20th century. Cobb’s inflation adjusted 2012 salary would be $359,085.94, below the 2012 major league minimum of $480,000.