SPRINFIELD– Since the beginning of the 20th century, minor league baseball players have toiled on and off the diamond, trying to scrape out a living while attempting to make it to the major leagues. But as of this year, the tension of making ends meet dramatically lessened. KOLR 10’s Dan Lucy shares the long overdue resolution.
On wednesday night, march 29th, life as an affiliated minor league baseball player changed radically.
Thousands of baseball players, who are fighting to get into the big leagues, were suddenly in the major league players union.
The summers of just scraping by were over.
“Personally it means everything,” said Springfield first baseman Chandler Redmond. “I had a son last season, he’s eight months old now. Me and my wife are stressed about money all the time. We’re living on her income. She’s a nurse. She makes good money. We’re blessed enough that she can support us.”
Chandler Redmund was a 32nd round draft choice. He didn’t get any kind of signing bonus from the St. Louis Cardinals.
Redmund didn’t even make 14-thousand dollars last year as a double a player. This season he’ll make more than 30-thousand.
“It makes it easier for me to play. I don’t have to go about worrying about money. I can take a step back from that and focus on baseball.”
Fellow Springfield teammate Michael Mcgreevy was a first round draft pick in 2021 the Cardinals gave him a two-point-75 million dollar signing bonus.
Most of his fellow teammates didn’t get that windfall, but mcgreevy says being in the players union is a good thing for everyone.
“It’s a good thing…” said McGreevy.
In addition to increased salaries, the new collective bargaining agreement gives minor leaguers a free place to stay, and in double and triple a they get their own bedrooms.
It also provides for better medical coverage and better meals for the players.
The concessions are expected to cost major league baseball 90 million dollars this year.
But it’s something the owners are behind, voting 30-to-nothing in favor of the new deal.
“Iit’s huge for them. They deserve it. We’re talking about pro players,” said Springfield manager, Jose Leger. “They need to have more than just barely enough to go and eat at a restaurant. I think they aer deserving of it. I’m very happy that they agreed to this.”