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VICTORS' SPOILS

Sure, there's glory and fame, but champs reap another reward too—cash money
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WINNING A World Series can bring many things: joy, pride, a sense of uncommon achievement and cash—cold, hard cash. As with all major sports leagues, MLB provides financial incentive for teams to both make the postseason and win once they get there. In baseball the total money available for playoff bonuses changes each year—the pool is drawn from a percentage of playoff gate receipts—but it has grown enormously over the last 30 years. In 1985, a champion Royals player made $76,341.71; for the 2015 Royals it was $370,069.03.

This season's bonus pool hasn't been announced, but last year's pot hit a record $76.6 million, with $27.6 million (36% of the total) going to the champion Cubs (above). The AL-pennant-winning Indians took home 24% of the money, or $18.4 million. The other eight playoff teams split the remaining 40%.

How a team divvies up its windfall is up to the players—not the GM or the owner. Players vote to award shares to teammates, as well as to coaches, team employees and support staff. The Cubs awarded 66 full shares, along with a handful of partial shares and other awards. Each player receiving a full share took home $368,871.59. Considering that the league's minimum salary is $507,500, it's not a bad haul.

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

WINNERS' FULL SHARE

'85

'86

'87

'88

'89

'90

'91

'92

'93

'94

*STRIKE SEASON

'95

'96

'97

'98

'99

'00

'01

'02

'03

'04

'05

'06

'07

'08

'09

'10

'11

'12

'13

'14

'15

'16

$400,000

$350,000

$300,000

$250,000

$200,000

$150,000

$100,000

COINAGE

Presented by GEICO

The World Series champs aren't the only titlists to take home some hefty postseason bonuses.

$314,000

Warriors

This assumes an even split of the $4.4 million bonus among the 14 players who appeared in the postseason.

$183,000

Patriots

That's $107,000 for Super Bowl LI, $49,000 for the AFC championship and $27,000 for the divisional round.

$173,000

Penguins

This assumes an even split of the $4.3 million bonus among the 25 players who appeared in the postseason.

$11,025

Lynx

This does not include any separate award bonus some players may earn.

$9,821

Sounders

This assumes an even split of the $275,000 bonus among the 28 players on the active roster.