THE EVOLUTION OF MLB PLAYER CONTRACTS

In 1964, the Cincinnati Reds signed 28-year old Frank Robinson to a one-year, $50,000 deal.

Robinson finished fourth in the National League Most Valuable Player voting that season, playing in 156 games, hitting .306 with 29 home runs, 96 RBI and an on-base percentage was .396 (not bad for a power-hitting, middle of the lineup guy). The Reds finished tied for second in 1964 with a 92-70 record, losing the division by a single game to the St. Louis Cardinals. In hindsight, Robinson was a steal.