If Michael Lorenzen wants Babe Ruth money, the Cincinnati Reds might be all too willing to oblige.
On Wednesday night, Lorenzen made history, hitting a home run, playing centerfield and earning a win as the starting pitcher in the Reds 8-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the first time since 1928 that a player pulled off that trifecta of accomplishments.
And that player was the immortal Ruth, considered to be one of the game’s all-time greatest players.
Lorenzen’s accomplishment in a single game certainly was historic, leading to inevitable comparisons with Ruth. One of the greatest home run hitters of all time, Ruth actually got his start in professional baseball as a pitcher before the ability that would make him ‘The Sultan of Swat’ eventually took him off the mound.
When asked by the media after the game about his Ruthian feat, Lorenzen humorously made a comparison to the all-time slugger.
"It’s a fun stat. I’ll have to ask, see what kind of contract Babe Ruth would’ve gotten in today’s game and take that to the Reds,” Lorenzen joked.
Except, well, he may not want to do that.
In 1928, Ruth was in the midst of a three-year contract that paid him $70,000 per season. While that number was considered astronomical and was the most for any baseball player at the time, it certainly pales in comparison to what today’s athletes get paid in Major League Baseball.
Even when set for inflation.
In today’s dollars, Ruth’s contract would run equivalent to $1.05 million in today’s market. Lorenzen signed a contract this offseason with the Reds, paying him $1.95 million, double what Ruth was paid when accoounting for today’s dollars.
His contract this year was a pay increase over last year’s $1.312 million deal. Each contract over the past two seasons have been one year deals with the Reds.
So while his accomplishment is certainly Ruth-esque, his contract already had surpassed that of the Hall of Famer. Although certainly, Reds management might be all too willing to give him a contract equal to Ruth should their player want.