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Big League Stew

Baseball players make up half of Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50 highest-paid athlete list

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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(Sports Illustrated)

In the full galaxy of sports, we can all admit that baseball isn't as sexy as some of its peers. But you know what's sexy? Money. And according to the Fortunate 50, Sports Illustrated's annual list of the top-paid U.S. athletes, baseball players are stacking up the dough.

The list — this year's update was released Wednesday — combines salary, winnings, bonuses and endorsements. Of the 50 athletes on it, 25 are baseball players. That means the MLB is batting a cool .500. That number is up from 19 last year.

Baseball players making monster money isn't exactly news, but it is interesting to see baseball players outnumber football players 25-7, when football is without question the more popular sport. There are many issues at hand beyond mere popularity — baseball's lack of a salary cap being No. 1 on the list, baseball players being more identifiable on the field being another — but it's still an interesting fact.

Here's the list of baseball players on the Fortunate 50 with their ranking and pay breakdown, as calculated by SI:

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(Getty Images)

(9) Alex Rodriguez | Total: $29.9 million (endorsements: $900,000)
(10) Zack Greinke | Total: $29.02 million (endorsements: $20,000)
(13) Johan Santana | Total: $26.3 million (endorsements: $800,000)
(14) Felix Hernandez | Total: $25.6 million (endorsements: $600,000)
(17) Cliff Lee | Total: $25.28 million (endorsements: $280,000)
(19) Derek Jeter | Total: $25.1 million (endorsements: $8.1 million)
(20) Joe Mauer | Total: $25 million (endorsements: $2 million)
(22) C.C. Sabathia | Total: $24 million (endorsements: $1 million)
(23) Prince Fielder | Total: $23.5 million (endorsements: $500,000)
(25) Ryan Howard | Total: $23.2 million (endorsements: $3.2 million)
(26) Tim Lincecum | Total: $23 million (endorsements: $1 million)
(28) Mark Teixeira | Total: $22.725 million (endorsements: $225,000)
(30) Matt Kemp | Total: $22.4 million (endorsements: $400,000)
(32) Vernon Wells | Total: $21.6 million (endorsements: $600,000)
(34) Adrian Gonzalez | Total: $21.35 million (endorsements: $350,000)
(36) Miguel Cabrera | Total: $21.2 million (endorsements: $200,000)
(38) Justin Verlander | Total: $20.6 million (endorsements: $600,000)
(39) Roy Halladay | Total: $20.21 million (endorsements: $210,000)
(40) Matt Cain | Total: $20.1 million (endorsements: $100,000)
(41) Barry Zito | Total: $20.08 million (endorsements: $80,000)
(42) Carl Crawford | Total: $20.075 million (endorsements: $75,000)
(44) Cole Hamels | Total: $19.9 million (endorsements: $400,000)
(45) Joey Votto | Total: $19.25 million (endorsements: $250,000)
(46) Albert Pujols | Total: $19 million (endorsements: $3 million)
(50) Alfonso Soriano | Total: $18.2 million (endorsements: $200,000)

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Derek Jeter is the baseball player on the list who makes the most endorsement money. (Getty Images)

FUN FACTS
• The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have more players combined on this list than the NFL.

• The Yankees lead MLB teams with five players on the list. Followed by the Dodgers (four), Philadelphia Phillies (four), Detroit Tigers (three) and San Francisco Giants (three).

• Four players on the list — A-Rod, Jeter, Teixeira and Santana — haven't played a game this season because of injuries. In fact, Santana is out all season.

• Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who topped the list at $90 million, made more in his May 4 bout ($32 million) than any baseball player on the list. SI says Mayweather could make as much as $128 million this year, which is more than the five Yankees on the list combined.

Want to see the complete top 50? Click through this slideshow:

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