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Demystifying World Series Shares PDF Print E-mail
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Articles & Opinion
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 23 October 2007 11:02

2007 World SeriesSince the first World Series game was played in 1903, those on the winning and losing teams have been awarded “shares” based on the revenues pulled in from baseball premier event. Each year, the announcement of how much a full or partial share is worth is a way of telling all how much extra green found its way into the pockets of the players in the World Series, as well as a way to see how the postseason in the overall did in terms of revenues through the gates at those stadiums fortunate enough to host games after the regular season has ended.

I, and others, have been tracking the totals for World Series shares for some time, but it wasn’t until I got an email from David Milstead, the Finance Editor for the Rocky Mountain News that I realized that there was little information published on how World Series shares are derived and calculated.

Milstead asked if I could explain why there were differences between these two sets of figures for the St. Louis Cardinals:

  • 2005: "The Cardinals awarded 48 full shares, 76 partial shares and 17 cash awards."
  • 2006: "The Cardinals awarded 48 full shares, 7.133 partial shares and 16 cash awards."

With that, there was also a discussion over how the value of a share fluctuates from year to year.

How Shares and Cash Awards Are Doled Out is Subjective

Referring back to the Cardinals figures listed above, there is no formula upon which each and every team calculates how many shares or cash awards are doled out. It is a purely subjective process conducted in meetings by the front office staff and the players of the major league clubs. Certainly the players on the active roster most often wind up with full shares, but there have been more than one instance of players that were not even with an organization getting shares, or a person that has long since played receiving shares. As but one recent example, Nomar Garciaparra was given a three-quarter share ($167,715) as voted on by the players when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. Cash awards could be given to supporting staff within an organization, a nice bonus, as it were, for the successes in the postseason.

The Value of a Share

The value of the share is determined by the total revenues taken over the course of the postseason and placed in a pool. The break down of the players’ pool is as follows:

60 percent of the gate receipts from the first three games of the Division Series , 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first four games of the League Championship Series and the World Series, is divided among 12 clubs: the World Series participants, the League Championship Series and Division Series runners-up, and the four regular season second-place clubs that were not Wild Card participants.

So, with the second place finishers the exception, the more games in a postseason series, the more attendance by revenues is pulled in. And, if the teams playing are in larger the venues and have higher fan interest, the more attendance revenues can increase, as well.

The value of the share is then calculated based on the total number of shares doled out. As an example, the Red Sox had 58 full shares in 2004 compared to 37 full shares given by the Florida Marlins the year prior. Those extra shares by the Red Sox caused the overall value of an individual share to drop as the pool was divided.

However, total World Series attendance may not dictate the total revenues pulled in via the gate. As an example, in 2005 the World Series went four games for a total of 168,422 in paid attendance. In 2006, the Series went five games and pulled in 224,633 in paid attendance. With a difference of 56,211 in attendance between the years, one would expect gate revenues to be higher, right? Well….

  • 2005 World Series Gate Revenue: $24,473,139.36
  • 2006 World Series Gate Revenue: $20,016,735.81

When looking at the total pool, however, 2006 was far rosier than 2005:

  • 2005 pool: $40,788,565.62
  • 2006 pool: $55,602,043.93
  • Earning for full World Series share in 2005: $191,985.45
  • Earning for a full World Series share in 2006: $291,667.68

(figures not adjusted for inflation)


Hard saying. One might point to 2006 which saw more large market teams such as the Dodgers, Mets, while also enjoying a seven game series in the NLCS between the Mets and the Cardinals. Still, there similarities in the two years: Yankees get bounced in both years. Cardinals in the NLCS both years. One would think with Boston and Anaheim in the mix in 2005, that year would have fared better than Oakland and Minnesota in ‘06.

There is also how much ticket pricing impacts the total revenue for a given facility. For the postseason. MLB suggests what the total revenues should be per game, and the club then scales the house accordingly. For example, this year, Fenway Park tickets range from $50 to $225. Coors Field tickets are $65 to $250. Interest has been exceptionally high in both markets for games, so chances seem to be nil for there not to be a sellout for all games, even with the “cyber attack” in Denver in play.

(To see the total shares break down for 2005 and 2006, as well as a link to historical World Series Shares data for those registered and logged into The Biz of Baseball, select Read More)

Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.and is an available writer for other media outlets.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

2006 club-by-club breakdown follows: 

World Series Champions
St. Louis Cardinals (Share of Players' Pool: $20,016,735.81; value of each full share: $362,173.07) - The Cardinals awarded 48 full shares, 7.133 partial shares and 16 cash awards.

American League Champions
Detroit Tigers (Share of Players' Pool: $13,344,490.54; value of each full share: $291,667.68) - The Tigers awarded 39 full shares, 6.67 partial shares and nine cash awards.

League Championship Series Runners-Up
New York Mets (Share of Players' Pool: $6,672,245.27; value of each full share: $124,429.60) - The Mets awarded 40 full shares, 13.333 partial shares and six cash awards.

Oakland Athletics (Share of Players' Pool: $6,672,245.27; value of each full share: $140,624.90) - The A's awarded 41 full shares, 5.80 partial shares and 14 cash awards.

Division Series Runners-Up
Los Angeles Dodgers (Share of Players' Pool: $1,668,061.32; value of each full share: $27,035.00) - The Dodgers awarded 50 full shares, 11.478 partial shares and three cash awards.

Minnesota Twins (Share of Players' Pool: $1,668,061.32; value of each full share: $37,538.99) - The Twins awarded 39 full shares, 4.25 partial shares and 15 cash awards.

New York Yankees (Share of Players' Pool: $1,668,061.32; value of each full share: $28,598.24) - The Yankees awarded 45 full shares, 13.24 partial shares and three cash awards.

San Diego Padres (Share of Players' Pool: $1,668,061.32; value of each full share: $27,339.86) - The Padres awarded 52 full shares, 8.50 partial shares and 21 cash awards.

Second-Place Finishers (Non-Wild Card Clubs)
Houston Astros (Share of Players' Pool: $556,020.44; value of each full share: $10,285.70) - The Astros awarded 43 full shares, 11 partial shares and eight cash awards.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Share of Players' Pool: $556,020.44; value of each full share: $10,154.79) - The Angels awarded 50 full shares and 5.25 partial shares.

Philadelphia Phillies (Share of Players' Pool: $556,020.44; value of each full share: $10,909.50) - The Phillies awarded 36 full shares, 14.417 partial shares and six cash awards.

Toronto Blue Jays (Share of Players' Pool: $556,020.44; value of each full share: $11,830.22) - The Blue Jays awarded 33 full shares and 14 partial shares.

2005 Club-by-club breakdown:

The World Series Champions
Chicago White Sox
awarded 42 full shares, six partial shares and 22 cash awards from a pool of $14.7 million. Full shares were worth $324,532.72.

The National League Champions
Houston Astros awarded 39 full shares, 28 partial shares and eight cash awards from a pool of $9.9 million. Full shares were worth $191,985.45.

The AL Championship Series runner-up
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
awarded 46 full shares, 17 partial shares and eight cash awards from a pool of $4.9 million. Full shares were worth $94,743.33.

The NL Championship Series runner-up
St. Louis Cardinals
awarded 48 full shares, 76 partial shares and 17 cash awards from a pool of $4.9 million. Full shares were worth $84,496.92.

AL Division Series runners-up
Boston Red Sox awarded 57 full shares, 43 partial shares and 10 cash awards from a pool of $1.2 million. Full shares were worth $17,004.06

New York Yankees awarded 47 full shares and 34 partial shares from a pool of $1.2 million. Full shares were worth $21,501.62.

NL Division Series runners-up
Atlanta Braves awarded 46 full shares, 19 partial shares and 29 cash awards from a pool of $1.2 million. Full shares were wroth $22,780.11

San Diego Padres awarded 47 full shares, 28 partial shares and 18 cash awards from a pool of $1.2 million. Full shares were worth $21,404.79.

Non-wild-card second-place finishers
Cleveland Indians awarded 41 full shares and 37 partial shares from a pool of $407,885.66. Full shares were worth $7,869.18.

Oakland Athletics awarded 38 full shares, 22 partial shares and 14 cash awards from a pool of $407,885.66. Full shares were worth $9,095.26.

Arizona Diamondbacks awarded 32 full shares and 21 partial shares from a pool of $407,885.66. Full shares were worth $9,919.94.

Philadelphia Phillies awarded 41 full shares, 36 partial shares and three cash awards from a pool of $407,885.66. Full shares were worth $8,180.06.

By Registering and Logging in to The Biz of Baseball, users can access "Members Only" data. For those logged in that wish to see a historical break down of World Series shares since 1903, select the following after logging in: World Series Shares   



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