The last time the Pirates won 81 games…

September 9th, 1992. At the end of the day, after a 13-8 victory over the Cubs, the record of the Pittsburgh Pirates showed that they had 81 wins.

It never happened again. Until yesterday.

How long ago was 9-9-92? Well…

  • Bryce Harper hadn’t been born yet.
  • The United States still was doing nuclear bomb testing.
  • The Colorado Rockies, Florida/Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks did not exist.
  • Two players from the September 9, 1992 game- Joe Girardi and Ryne Sandberg– are now MLB managers (although Sandberg is an interim manager).
  • Three participants in the game (Sandberg, Andre Dawson, and umpire Doug Harvey) are now in the Hall of Fame. A fourth, Barry Bonds, would be if not for, well… you know.
  • Speaking of Bonds, at the end of the 1992 season, he had 176 HR and in 1992 he hit a then career-high 34 HR.
  • The top movie at the box-office the weekend before was Honeymoon in Vegas. The top movie in the weekend after was Sneakers.
  • Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” was the Number One single.
  • George H.W. Bush was president and was facing both Bill Clinton and Ross Perot in the presidential race.
  • Nickelodeon was only a few weeks old, the Sci-Fi (Syfy) Channel and Cartoon Network were a few weeks away from premiering.
  • The first Mario Kart game had only been out for about two weeks.
  • Gerald’s Game by Stephen King was the number one best-selling book at the time.
  • The Russian Federation had not yet taken part in the Olympic Games- the 1992 Olympics had the “Unified Team” of Russia and former USSR countries because they hadn’t formed Olympic Committees in time.
  • A Canadian Team had not yet won the World Series.
  • Only Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium, Anaheim (Angel) Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Skydome/Rogers Centre, New Comiskey Park/US Cellular Field, the Oakland Coliseum and Camden Yards remain in MLB use from that season. Tropicana Field had been built, but had not yet hosted a Major League team.

In other words: It was a long time ago.

Putting baseball money in perspective

$5.6 Billion: The amount of money ESPN is spending over a eight-year extension of their MLB broadcasting rights.

$700 Million: The average per-year cost of that deal.

$695 Million: The current GDP of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, given current exchange rates, according to the CIA World Factbook.

$1.85 billion: The value of the New York Yankees in 2012, according to Forbes. This is tied for third in the world, behind only Manchester United and Real Madrid and tied with the Dallas Cowboys.

$1.81 billion: Forbes estimate of the approx. value of the four most valuable NHL teams (Maple Leafs, Rangers, Canadiens, Red Wings) in 2011… combined.

$1.68 billion: Forbes 2012 estimate of the combined value of the NBA’s two most valuable teams (the Lakers and the Knicks).

$321 million: The value of the Oakland Athletics in 2012, according to Forbes. This makes them the least valuable MLB team. This still would put them sixth in the NHL and 19th on the list of Forbes’ most valuable soccer teams in the world.

$3,440,000: Average salary of an MLB player.

$2,921,713: 2011 prize money of Yani Tseng, the best female golf player in the world.

$1.2 million: Babe Ruth’s highest yearly salary ($80,000 in 1930-31), adjusted for inflation. This would make him about the 20th highest-paid player on the 2012 Yankees, behind David Robertson and just beating out Raul Ibanez.

$480,000: Minimum salary of an MLB player.

$400,000: Salary of the President of the United States.

$244,228.72: Honus Wagner’s 1912 salary of $10,000, adjusted for inflation.

$2.35 million: Cost of the T206 Honus Wagner baseball card that once belonged to Wayne Gretzky.

$2.88: The price of a ticket, adjusted for inflation, to the 1858 game between All-Stars representing New York and Brooklyn, believed to have been the first game where admission was charged.

$28: The cheapest ticket available on the Mets website for a upcoming game against the Braves. The All-Star game is in Flushing next year, and it probably will be even more expensive.

In other words: There is a lot of money in baseball, and it’s only gotten richer over the years.