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Sunday, April 27, 2014

NYTimes: Mookie Wilson:  “I Miss Being On The Field Right Now”

“You write that, even if Buckner had fielded the ball cleanly, you still would have beaten his throw, driving in the winning run. How do you know?”

“He was moving laterally, away from the bag. I think that would have been a tough play for any first baseman to make. And his wheels weren’t in the best of shape. The odds were definitely in my favor.”

Mookie later became a truck driver and a securities trader, and is now working on becoming a minister.

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 27, 2014 at 01:45 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, mets, red sox

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   1. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 27, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4695368)
I’m tired of hearing about the ’86 Mets.
   2. eric Posted: April 27, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4695385)
He earned $7.6 million in his career and played 12 years so presumably gets an MLB pension. Why does he have to be driving trucks?
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 27, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4695408)
Because he apparently likes it. So why not? Better that than the Mickey Mantle or Pete Rose models of retirement.
   4. Tripon Posted: April 27, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4695419)
Mookie Wilson is surprisingly down to earth.
   5. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 27, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4695429)
“You write that, even if Buckner had fielded the ball cleanly, you still would have beaten his throw, driving in the winning run. How do you know?”

I think it's not just possible that Mookie beats a gimpy Buckner and/or Stanley to first had Billy fielded the ball cleanly. It was likely.

But Ray Knight wasn't going to score from second in that scenario.

   6. akrasian Posted: April 27, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4695470)
#2 - he spent most of his career living in a very expensive city with high taxes. While I hope he saved some - it probably wasn't enough to retire on and live a highly comfortable life from his mid 30s on. His pension kicked in at age 55 iirc, so he most likely made the decision to work a job he liked to supplement his savings and now his pension.
   7. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:14 PM (#4695531)
Mookie later became a truck driver and a securities trader, and is now working on becoming a minister.

They talk about "five-tool" players... how many tools does Mookie have?! Baseball player + truck driver + securities trader + minister. I'm not seeing a whole lot of overlap in job requirements.
   8. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:37 PM (#4695554)

They talk about "five-tool" players... how many tools does Mookie have?! Baseball player + truck driver + securities trader + minister. I'm not seeing a whole lot of overlap in job requirements.


Speed is important in all of them. In baseball it helps to have speed, in trucking,you need to get places quickly (often the drivers are on speed), in trading you need to process the info quickly, and I guess the minister can run down the sinners.
   9. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:15 AM (#4695568)
"Speed Dial to Jesus" would make a wonderful Gospel song.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: April 28, 2014 at 01:06 AM (#4695590)
I guess the minister can run down the sinners.

Or get out of town fast.

it probably wasn't enough to retire on and live a highly comfortable life from his mid 30s on

What's your definition of "highly comfortable" ... and given he was driving trucks, there's a good chance his idea of "highly comfortable" ain't all that comfy.

Point being $100,000 annual _average_ salary for a 40 year career is just $4 M career earnings.* And $7.6 M in 1991 dollars is roughly $13.1 M today so the equivalent of an annual average salary of about $300,000. This is before we get to investment income -- also pre-tax. Anyway, $300,000 should put you around the top 1.5%, maybe top 2% for households -- so assuming Mrs. Mookie wasn't earning anything.

Sure, you can't own your own jet and Kate Upton's not gonna give you a second look but you still live a mighty nice life.

*Earning $200-300,000 in the prime of your (normal human) working career around ages 45-54 is not that uncommon ... to average $300 K a year you'd be starting around $100 and ending up around $500 (in today's dollars). If you land a job like that, try not to whine too much. :-)

   11. akrasian Posted: April 28, 2014 at 01:45 AM (#4695595)
What's your definition of "highly comfortable" ... and given he was driving trucks, there's a good chance his idea of "highly comfortable" ain't all that comfy.

Well, first figure that Mookie had to pay a lot of his earnings out in agent fees and taxes - federal, state and city in his case. He was living in the most expensive city, and I'm guessing that as a young man making a lot of money he wasn't totally frugal.

Once he retired he may have had $2 million left - if he were lucky and a lot wiser than most athletes with his money. Figure he'd need a permanent house at that point, if he didn't have one. If his money was well invested (a big if) he might figure on $60-80k a year to live on indefinitely (4% is the usual figure, but I'm assuming he would buy a house right after retirement where ever he wanted to live long term. Keep in mind that counting on 4% is optimistic.) He'd have no real non-baseball skills of course, although he could count on his name to some extent if he wanted to. A decent trucking salary supplemented with some of the interest on his investments would keep him closer to the lifestyle he had grown used to, while still allowing the principal to grow a bit.

Assuming he saved some of his earnings, he may have been able to live middle class indefinitely - but without a huge margin of error if an investment went south. I can totally understand working the sort of jobs he could get, so his family could live more comfortably and so that if things went wrong he would still be okay. And by the time he started drawing his ML pension he undoubtedly was used to working.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 28, 2014 at 07:09 AM (#4695605)
Hey, what if Mookie just likes driving a truck? Radical thought! What if the thought of being a minister appeals to him? What if he doesn't feel he needs a bloated income for the rest of his life to find his life fulfilling?

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