How much did Lou Gehrig make playing baseball?

Introduction to Lou Gehrig

Lou Gehrig was an American professional baseball player who played for the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1939. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 and is widely considered one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Gehrig was nicknamed “The Iron Horse” for his durability and consistent level of performance throughout his career. He was one of the most successful players in the game, winning six World Series titles, earning seven All-Star selections, and being named the American League Most Valuable Player twice.

Baseball Salary History

Baseball salaries have changed dramatically over the years. In the early days of the sport, players were often paid very little, with most teams offering a flat salary of $2,400. This was the same amount that Gehrig earned in his first season with the Yankees. By the end of his career, Gehrig was earning an annual salary of $39,000 – a far cry from the $25 million that some of today’s top players are making.

Lou Gehrig’s Career Earnings

During his 17-year career, Lou Gehrig earned an estimated $1.2 million in salary. This figure is based on his annual salary, which ranged from $2,400 in 1923 to $39,000 in 1939. In addition to his salary, Gehrig also earned bonuses for his performance in the World Series and All-Star Games. He was also one of the first players to receive endorsements from companies like Wheaties and Coca-Cola.

Lou Gehrig’s Most Lucrative Seasons

Gehrig’s most lucrative seasons were from 1934 to 1938, when he earned an annual salary of $30,000. During this period, he won two American League MVP awards, led the league in runs scored four times, and hit over .350 in five consecutive seasons. In 1938, he also set the record for most RBIs in a season with 184.

Pensions and Benefits

In addition to his salary, Gehrig also received a pension from Major League Baseball after he retired. The pension was worth $30,000 per year and was paid to players who had played at least ten years in the league. Gehrig’s pension was paid until his death in 1941 at the age of 37.

Post-Retirement Earnings

After Gehrig’s retirement, he continued to make money from endorsements and appearances. In 1940, he made an estimated $50,000 from endorsements and appearances. He also made money from memorabilia and royalties from his autobiography, “My Lucky Life in Baseball”.

The Gehrig Legacy

The legacy of Lou Gehrig is still felt today. His name is synonymous with strength, courage, and determination. He is remembered for his two MVP awards, his record-breaking RBI season, and his streak of 2,130 consecutive games played.

Lou Gehrig’s Net Worth

It is estimated that Lou Gehrig’s net worth was approximately $5 million at the time of his death in 1941. This is a considerable sum, especially given the salaries of his time.

Lou Gehrig’s Endorsements

Lou Gehrig was one of the first baseball players to be heavily endorsed. His endorsements included Wheaties, Coca-Cola, and Chesterfield cigarettes. He also appeared in several films, including a cameo in the classic baseball movie, “The Pride of the Yankees”.


Lou Gehrig is one of the most iconic figures in baseball history. He was a great player and left a lasting legacy on the game. In addition to his success on the field, he also earned a considerable amount of money from endorsements, memorabilia, and royalties. During his 17-year career, he earned an estimated $1.2 million in salary, and had a net worth of $5 million at the time of his death.

His legacy lives on today, and his name is still synonymous with strength, courage, and determination.