#10 – Manny Ramirez (Net Worth: $110 Million)
Manuel “Manny” Ramirez was born in May 1972 to parents Onelcida and Aristides Ramirez. Manny would fall in love with baseball at a young age and even received a Dodgers uniform from his grandmother at a very young age. He has since cherished the uniform very much and coincidentally would grow up to become an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He attended George Washington High School for four years until he decided to drop out when he was 19 years old. During his time in high school he led their baseball team to a number of wins and even three straight division championships. Because of his outstanding performances he would go on to become inducted into the New York City Public School Athletic Hall of Fame.
During the 1991 MLB draft, Manny would end up being chosen to play for the Cleveland Indians. Overall he was the 13th pick and would go on to become Player of the Year with his 19 home runs and 63 runs. In 1994 he was runner-up to being named Rookie of the Year and by 2001 was traded off to the Boston Red Sox. Originally he was all set to stay with Cleveland for a $119 million extension to his contract but ultimately decided to join Boston where he would make $160 million over 8 years. In 2008 he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers but wound up getting suspended for 50 games for the use of illegal performance enhancers. Originally he was suspended for 100 games and decided to retire but instead changed his mind and took the 50 game suspension. He returned the following year to play with the Chicago White Sox for a year and then jumped over to the Tampa Bay Rays.
He yet again got suspended for another instance of performance enhancement drugs and then bounced around to the Oakland Athletics, the EDA Rhinos in the Dominican Baseball League, joined the minor league with the Texas Rangers followed by the Chicago Cubs. Since his joining of the Chicago Cubs he has both played ball for them and was hired to be their batting consultant.
#9 – Joey Votto (Net Worth: $110 Million)
Joseph Daniel “Joey” Votto is a Canadian-born MLB player who was born in 1983 in Toronto, Ontario. He became a baseball fan at a young age due in large part to his father who was a huge fan of the sport and even gifted his son a poster of Ted Williams. During high school, Joey played both baseball and basketball simultaneously at Richview Collegiate Institute and for a while was even into hockey. It was here that he started to get some recognition for his talent in sports and went on to play college baseball for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Coastal Carolina University.
In 2004, Votto would join the minor league while playing for the Dayton Dragons. He stuck with them for three years until he finally joined the major league in 2007, playing for the Cincinnati Reds as a first baseman. Since then he has stuck with the Reds and has gone on to become one of their best players. To date, he is a four time MLB All-Star and won the National League MVP Award. He has earned the majority of his wealth from the Reds and in 2012 he signed a ten-year contract with the team for an astonishing $225 million. The deal is the fifth largest deal in MLB history and by the time year 2022 rolls around, Votto will be worth more than $250 million.
Outside of being one of the most defensive and patient first baseman players, Votto is also one of the most adored. Baseball fans in 2013 voted him the “Face of the MLB” which is a fan-voted contest on Twitter. He won against other MLB fan favorites like Joe Mauer and Derek Jeter. These days he’s living in Mount Adams, Cincinnati with his adopted golden retriever he named Maris.
#8 – Chipper Jones (Net Worth: $110 Million)
Larry “Chipper” Jones Jr. was born in 1972 to parents Larry Sr. and Lynne Jones. His father, whom he was named after, was a high school baseball coach at T. DeWitt Taylor High School. Chipper became fascinated with the sport at a young age and went on to play little league at the age of seven. Throughout his youth he continued playing the sport and went on to play short stop at T. DeWitt Taylor High School with his father as the coach. He then went on to enroll at the Bolles School and played baseball with their team for a total of three seasons. During that time he was a pitcher and went on to help the team win a number of games, including a state championship.
Shortly after high school he got drafted to the MLB and was chosen first overall by the Atlanta Braves where he was offered a $400,000 signing bonus. Even though he was initially chosen in 1991, he didn’t actually get to play with the Braves until two years later in 1993. He started as short stop for a year but ended up getting into a dirt bike accident where he tore his ACL. But it wasn’t long until he would return to the game and in 1999 he even won the National League MVP Award.
In total, Chipper Jones would spend an impressive 19 seasons with the Atlanta Braves. In 2012 he was about to turn 40 years old and felt it was time for him to retire from the game and focus on other things. He started the season with a torn meniscus in his left knee which needed surgery to fix but still went on to play impressively. Following his retirement, the Atlanta Braves threw Chipper Jones a ceremony to retire his number from the game. He also joined the Braves’ personal Hall of Fame and is expected to join the MLB Hall of Fame during the first year he’s eligible.
#7 – Randy Johnson (Net Worth: $115 Million)
Randall “The Big Unit” Johnson was born in 1963 in Walnut Creek, California to parents Carol Hannah and Rollen Charles Johnson. Standing tall at an impressive 6’10’’, Randy would get an early start in sports by playing both baseball and basketball at Livermore High School. Even as a teenager he was already pitching no-hitters which garnered interest from major league teams. In 1982 he was offered $500,000 to sign to the Atlanta Braves but turned it down to instead attend college at the University of Southern California. He played baseball for their team alongside future MLB legend Mark McGwire and even played for USC’s basketball team for two seasons.
After graduating from college under an athletic scholarship, Randy Johnson would wind up being drafted in 1985 to the Montreal Expos. Although he wouldn’t actually get a chance to play for another three years when he faced off against the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning his first game. After the 1988 season finished he went on to join the Seattle Mariners and pitched for them for nearly a decade. He would then join the Arizona Diamondbacks where he’d stay for another five years. In between those five years, Randy Johnson was involved in a freak accident with a dove. During a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants, Johnson threw a fastball and right at the exact moment he threw the ball, a dove flew right in front of it. The ball hit the dove so hard he essentially turned into a flock of feathers.
Johnson would join a few more teams, including playing as a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants for a year, up until 2010. In 2010 he decided to retire from the sport of baseball as his once 100 MP/h fastballs were starting to slow down to about 85 MP/h. In 2015 he was officially added to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the first year of his eligibility.
#6 – Tom Glavine (Net Worth: $120 Million)
Thomas Michael Glavine is a retired MLB pitcher who primarily played for the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Born in 1966, Glavine was born in Concord, Massachusetts and attended Billerica Memorial High School where he excelled at both hockey and baseball. He even went on to lead the team to a north division title. Because of this he was elected to the Billerica Memorial High School Athletic Hall of Fame. After finishing high school he got drafted to both the major baseball and national hockey leagues. Ultimately he decided to join up with the Atlanta Braves and in 1987 his baseball career officially started. Although unfortunately his career started out poorly when he lost 43 out of his 76 first games between 1987 – 1990, including a 17 loss streak.
Things would turn around in 1991 when his performance greatly improved and he’d often time win more than 20 games in an entire season. During this year is when he won his first award – the National League Cy Young Award. His career with the Atlanta Braves would continuously improve throughout the years up until 2003.
In 2003 he left the Braves and decided to pitch for their rivals; the New York Mets. The reason being his contract for Atlanta was about to expire and they weren’t sure if they would continue having him on their team. So he up and moved to New York where he signed a four year contract, netting him more than $40 million. Similar to how his career started with the Braves, Glavine’s starting year with the Mets began very slowly. Things would end up turning around near 2005 and continued that way for two years. During the 2007 season he returned to Atlanta when they offered him a one year contract for $8 million and he stuck with them for three years, earning a few more million dollars until his retirement in 2010. On the day of his retirement he took a job as the assistant to the Braves’ president and he occasionally appears as a guest on Fox News Sports as a guest analyst.
#5 – Albert Pujols (Net Worth: $140 Million)
Jose Alberto Pujols Alcantara was born in January of 1980 in the Dominican Republic. His interest in baseball began at an early age when his alcoholic father joined a softball team as their pitcher. During games his father would often play drunk and Albert would occasionally need to help carry him home. In an attempt to better their lives, both Albert’s father and grandmother decided to immigrate to New York City. An incident occurred in 1996, when Albert was only 16 years old and witnessed a passerby being shot near a grocery store. His father decided it wasn’t safe for any of them to live there so they packed their belongings and moved to Independence, Missouri. Albert would then play baseball at Fort Osage High School where he was named the All-State Athlete a total of two times. He was so good at the bat that opposing coaches would often times tell their pitchers to ‘walk’ Albert so he wouldn’t hit a home run.
After high school ended, Albert received a scholarship to play baseball at Maple Woods Community College. It only lasted a year, as he decided to enter the minor leagues. Very few teams were initially interested in having Albert join their teams, as many were concerned about him being too young and too big. A scout for the Tampa Bay Rays urged the coach to hire Albert although he refused and the scout ended up quitting his position. Albert would go on to play for the Peoria Chiefs where he would go on to win a postseason MVP Award.
The following year Albert got picked up by the major league and joined the St. Louis Cardinals at the request of fellow teammate Mark McGwire. He told then Cardinal’s coach that if he didn’t get Albert on their team it would be the biggest mistake in his coaching career. He initially was set to play with the Cardinals for two years but in 2004 they extended his contract for seven years and gave him $100 million. After his contract expired in 2012, Albert sought to play elsewhere and joined up with the Los Angeles Angels when they offered him a ten-year contract for $254 million.
#4 – CC Sabathia (Net Worth: $160 Million)
Carsten Charles Sabathia was born in 1980 in Vallejo, California and attended Vallejo High School. During high school he excelled in basketball and football and was even offered a football scholarship to play at the University of California, Los Angeles. Even though he enjoyed those two sports, his true passion was playing baseball and during summers as a child he attended a major league baseball youth program which greatly improved his skills as a pitcher.
When he was 18 he was drafted to the MLB and joined the Cleveland Indians. Two years later he was meant to join the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia but ultimately did not play for the gold-winning 24 man team. He continued playing with the Cleveland Indians until 2008 when his 10 year contract expired. He was then traded off to the Milwaukee Brewers and played with them all throughout the year 2009.
He was then offered a 7-year contract to play for the New York Yankees and was given $160 million, which at the time was the highest contract offer for a pitcher in MLB history. Since then he has continued pitching for the Yankees but recently his performance hasn’t been great due to his right knee getting inflamed with a bunch of fluid building up. After getting a shot in hopes of repairing the inflammation he was benched for 60 days and had to be transferred to the disabled list. He wound up needing surgery on his knee which could have ended his career but luckily he is still able to pitch, so long as he wears a knee brace. Since then he has decided to improve his lifestyle and has completely given up drinking alcohol and is starting to once more put on weight after losing quite a few pounds post-surgery.
#3 – Derek Jeter (Net Worth: $185 Million)
All-star shortstop Derek Jeter is no stranger to the game as he is currently ranked as one of the most prolific and marketable athletes of all time. Born in June 1974, Jeter was born in New Jersey and then moved to Michigan when he was only four years old but would frequently spend time during the summer with his grandparents who remained in New Jersey. During this time he would occasionally watch the New York Yankees play home games. It was during this time that his passion for baseball would sprout as he greatly admired former Yankee right fielder Dave Winfield. Jeter started playing baseball himself and in high school he joined the Kalamazoo Central High School baseball team during spring seasons and playing basketball during winter seasons. He became very popular and after high school went on to receive numerous awards, including Gatorade’s High School Player of the Year, USA Today’s High School Player of the Year and the 1992 award for High School Player of the Year from the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Jeter would then join the minor leagues and would stay there from 1992 – 1995 until he was finally able to join the major leagues, playing for none other than the New York Yankees. He quickly became a leader for the team and became very prominent in the media, with people clamoring all over his relationships with other high-profile celebrities, including Mariah Carey and Jessica Biel. He even co-starred in a season eight episode of Seinfeld, alongside other MLB players.
In total, Jeter spent 20 years with the New York Yankees and went on to win several other awards, mainly those with the abbreviation “MVP” in the title. In 2014 he decided to retire from the game although he is still endorsed by popular brands.
#2 – Miguel Cabrera (Net Worth: $290 Million)
Miguel Cabrera was born in 1983 in the Aragua State of Venezuela to parents Miguel Sr. and Gregoria Cabrera. He immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s and in 1999 he joined the minor league as a free agent by the Florida Marlins. His career began with him playing shortstop for the Gulf Coast League where he continuingly got promoted for his efforts. Four years later in 2003 is when his major league baseball career began as he joined up with the Florida Marlins as a right and left field player. He continued playing with the Marlins up until his contract expired in 2007.
In 2008, Miguel was traded to the Detroit Tigers whom he still plays with to this day. He signed an eight-year contract which netted him just more than $150 million, which is the highest paid deal in Detroit Tigers history. His start for the Tigers began at the end of March in 2008 where he played third base but he also occasionally plays first base as well. The following year, Miguel Cabrera represented Venezuela in the 2009 World Baseball Classic alongside other Tigers players and helped ensure a victory against the Texas Rangers when he hit a grand slam.
Whereas many players get burned out later on in their career, this is not true for Cabrera as he has only improved his form and game. In both 2012 and 2013 he won an MVP Award and because of that, his contract was extended by another eight years which will earn him another $248 million.
Outside of being an all-star baseball player, Cabrera is also a very charitable person. In 2012 he started his own foundation called The Miguel Cabrera Foundation which both helps a wide variety of other children’s foundations and helps encourage young kids to play baseball and softball.
#1 – Alex Rodriguez (Net Worth: $300 Million)
Alexander Rodriguez, also known as A-Rod is a former major league baseball infielder. He was born in 1975 in New York City but when he was four years old he and his family moved to the Dominican Republic for a short amount of time and then moved once more to Miami, Florida. A-Rod was a fan of baseball from a young age and credits former MLB legends Keith Hernandez and Dale Murphy to be his inspiration for joining the game. He began playing at a young age and by the time he started high school at Christopher Columbus High School he was already a very well-trained shortstop. He then transferred to Westminster Christian School where he continued playing baseball and also football as quarterback for their team. After graduating he planned on attending the University of Miami under a baseball scholarship but decided to instead join the MLB draft.
Rodriguez got drafted in the first round by the Seattle Mariners in 1993, when he was only 17 years old. Although it took a year for him to actually get to play but when he did, he became a regular shortstop. He stuck with the Mariners for a total of eight years until 2001 when he became a free agent and joined the Texas Rangers for two years. In 2004 he signed a contract to join the New York Yankees and he has been playing for them ever since.
A-Rod is no stranger to controversy as he has been accused of abusing performance enhancer drugs and for years he denied such rumors. However in 2009 he tested positive for steroid and testosterone use and wound up being suspended for over 100 games. There has also been quite a number of scandal accusations but despite what the media has reported, A-Rod has persevered and is regarded as one of the greatest baseball players in MLB history.