Dec 23, 1994: MLB imposes salary cap
Submitted by BTGrimes on Sun, 12/23/2012 - 6:00am
Owners get tough, for a while
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - As the 1994 players' strike dragged into its fourth month the owners declared an impasse and imposed a salary cap on this date in 1994 - Merry Christmas! The strike had abruptly ended the season in August, and caused the cancellation of the World Series for the first time since 1904.
As Leonard Koppett described in Koppett's Concise History of Major League Baseball, "distrust was the central issue." As far as the owners were concerned, "players had attained a position of bargaining power that inflated salaries beyond reason." The players' position was that the owners reneged on an earlier agreement, lied about MLB's finances and were simply trying to break the union.
The strike ended in April of 1995. As the following list indicates, median salaries went down, considerably for some teams.
But it didn't take long for salaries to skyrocket after the strike, and they've been rising ever since. In 1995, not a single team had a median salary over a million dollars. In 2010, according to USATODAY, 21 of the 30 teams had median salaries over a million. In '94 just two teams had average player salaries in excess of one million dollars. Ten years later, ten teams had players earning an average of a million or more.
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