July 31, 2015

Dear Roberto,:
This is the refusal Roberto Clemente got when he asked for a raise [in 1960].

posted by grum@work to baseball at 03:48 PM - 3 comments

Irrespective of your opinions on the morality of the message, it was a very well-written letter.

posted by Irish627 at 12:43 AM on August 01, 2015

It was well-written and not unfair. He did have (at the time) a down season.

posted by grum@work at 08:19 AM on August 01, 2015

It was fair in the sense that Clemente had an off year the year prior, but would be curious to know how it compared to what other players were making. Clemente's teammate Bill Mazeroski had a pretty awful year at the plate the year prior (.241/.283/.339 with an OPS+ of 66, compared to .296/.332/.396 with an OPS+ of 92 for Clemente -- and a much huger drop of 31 points of OPS+ from 1958 to 1959 than Clemente's drop of 3 points), but perhaps Mazeroski's much-lauded defense at a premium defensive position made up the offensive difference between him and Clemente. Hard to find salary data for back then, and the one source I found suggested Clemente's salary for 1960 held steady at $17,500 (which is inconsistent with the letter) and that Mazeroski's actually decreased, so who knows whether Clemente was getting screwed on a comparitve basis due to ethnicity or other reasons.

posted by holden at 07:52 PM on August 01, 2015

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