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A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME

How different is the game today? On the field, it has become faster, with greater emphasis on defense, as this comparison of National League player statistics from 1950 and last season shows. Off the field, major league revenues have escalated nearly tenfold, based on inflation-adjusted 1990 dollars (in parentheses)

RESEARCH BY RICHARD SANDOMIR; JAMES RODEWALD; STATS, INC.

1950

VALUE OF FRANCHISE
Brooklyn Dodgers
$4.2m
($21.6m)

AVG. TICKET $1.60
($8.23)

HOT DOG 10¬¨¬®¬¨¢
(51¬¨¬®¬¨¢)

MAJOR LEAGUE PROFITS $765,000
($3.9m)

BIG LEAGUE BASEBALL
$2.80 ($14.40)

PRO MODEL GLOVE
$25 ($128)

AVG. LENGHT OF GAME
2 hrs. 23 mins.*

HOME RUNS PER GAME 1.79

ATTENDANCE 16,550 PER GAME

FARMHANDS 26.7
Minor leaguers per big league job

ERRORS PER GAME 1.95

*As of 1951, the first statistic was recorded.

ERA 4.14

STOLEN BASES PER GAME .60

STRIKEOUTS PER GAME 8.10

BATTING AVG. †

COLOR LINE
Pct. of big league players

Blacks
2%

Latins
2%

Others
96%

Blacks
.296

Latins
.272

Others
.265

† Based on statistics for both leagues

AVG. PLAYER SALARY $11,000 ($56,595)

1990

VALUE OF FRANCHISE
Los Angeles Dodgers
$225m

MAJOR LEAGUE PROFITS
(1989 figure)

AVG. TICKET $8.00

HOT DOG $2.50

PROJECTED ATTENDANCE
26,750 PER GAME

BIG LEAGUE BASEBALL $11.40

PRO MODEL GLOVE $250

AVG. LENGTH OF GAME
2 hrs. 50 mins.

HOME RUNS PER GAME
1.40

ERA
3.49

ERRORS PER GAME
1.66

STOLEN BASES PER GAME
1.57

K STRIKEOUTS PER GAME
11.67

FARMHANDS
5.9

BATTING AVG. †

COLOR LINE

Blacks
17%

Latins
11%

Others
72%

Blacks
.261

Latins
.260

Other
.258

AVG. PLAYER SALARY
$600,000

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ILLUSTRATION

JOHN GRIMWADE