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4.3% of major leaguers have four-year degrees

May 18, 2012, 12:33 PM EDT

Back to school

Interesting factoid in Jon Paul Morosi’s column today:

As of Wednesday morning, 917 players had appeared in at least one big-league game this season, according to STATS LLC. Of that group, only 39 — or 4.3 percent — were confirmed by their teams of MLB as having obtained four-year college degrees through a survey of clubs.

This isn’t an “approve” or “disapprove” factoid. It just is. Because of the nature of college baseball, the draft and the minor league system, playing professional baseball is way less compatible with college than either football or basketball is.  It’s more like trade school, ya know?  The guys who can do the college thing and finish are really going against the grain.

Morosi’s column focuses on Curtis Granderson — one of the 4.3% — and it’s a good read, talking about how he went against that grain and made a degree and the path to the majors work. He’s one impressive dude.

  1. hojo20 - May 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Just remember, “look out for #1, and don’t step in #2” – Thornton Melon

  2. micker716 - May 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    I vote “Approve”

  3. number42is1 - May 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    R.A. Dickey doesnt have one? or did i miss his name?

    • Old Gator - May 19, 2012 at 12:11 AM

      He does have one – in English Lit from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

      • protius - May 21, 2012 at 12:56 AM

        A toilet roll degree, we used to call them. Gut, Ihr arsch mit abzuwischen.

  4. Windu - May 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    100% of major leaguers make more money than me.

    • mella21 - May 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      Wish one of them would pay off my student loans. I’d help their kids with their homework as a trade off.

      BTW-does anyone else Curtis Granderson looks exactly like Dule Hill from “Psych”? He must get that.

  5. markcycy - May 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    100 % have guaranteed contracts

  6. hansob - May 18, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I don’t see how this is a bad thing. You go to college to develop the skills to make you a valuable and marketable member of the labor force. Minor league baseball was their college. They can take a Suze Orman workshop if they need to know how to handle money.

    • mgv38 - May 18, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Well, you go to VOCATIONAL SCHOOL “to develop the skills to make you a valuable and marketable member of the labor force.” You go to COLLEGE to become a more well-rounded human being, cognizant and critical of multiple viewpoints (including your own), and striving, not always in self-interest, to make the world a better place. In other words, to avoid being a douchebag. I’m lookin’ at you, Rob Dibble.

      Of course, those broader skills learned at college ALSO allow you “to develop the skills to make you a valuable and marketable member of the labor force”–but those skills are NOT just mechanical (or athletic)–they include critical thinking, problem solving, time-management, and collaboration. The best players (and managers) have those skills, and they are more likely (but not always, obviously) to have learned them in a college setting.

  7. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 18, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Nice picture choice.

    All I know is you didn’t write this post. I’ll tell you something else, whoever did write it doesn’t know the first thing about Craig Calcaterra.

    • schlom - May 18, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      For those of you that didn’t get his comment:

      • Old Gator - May 19, 2012 at 12:16 AM

        Vonnegut said he had a blast meeting Dangerfield. Dear Buddha, as a confirmed Vonnegut freak and a confirmed Dangerfield freak, I would have given anything to have been within earshot of those two when they went out for a beer.

        Another great line from that film:

        Party guest: Your wife took me upstairs to show me her Klimt.

        Dangerfield: Oh, you too, huh?

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 18, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Low percentage of MLB players with degrees = shameful
    Back to School photo = epic

  9. genericcommenter - May 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    It’s because of all the uneducated black athletes in MLB.

    Errrr, wait a minute…….

  10. petey1999 - May 18, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    My impression is that, these days, most MLB managers have college degrees. I’ve never seen a survey but it would be interesting to find out.

  11. ezthinking - May 18, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Here’s an interesting fact as well from the article:

    “MLB clubs include a college tuition escrow in contracts for many drafted players — generally speaking, those born in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The program, in effect, provides protection for high school seniors who turn down scholarship offers to turn pro. According to MLB figures, 60.2 percent of amateur contracts signed in 2011 by players born in those three countries included some kind of scholarship money.”

    FWIW – The contracts I have reviewed have all had this provision – all JuCo guys.

  12. petey1999 - May 18, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Morosi doesn’t really explain the biggest reason top college players don’t stick around to play their senior seasons. If a player doesn’t sign when he’s drafted after his junior season, he has no bargaining leverage the next year because there’s virtually no place for him to play.

    You may recall that Jason Varitek was drafted in the first round after his junior year at Georgia Tech, declined the Twin’s offer, returned to finish his senior year at Tech, was drafted again the following year in the first round and was offered LESS money by the Mariners – even after being named the greatest college catcher of all time by Baseball America. Varitek had to essentially waste the 1994 season playing in the Northern League before finally negotiating a deal with Seattle that was still less than his original offer.

  13. Detroit Michael - May 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    The statistic is useless as presented. Did the other 95.7% of major leaguers not earn college degrees? Or is it just that their clubs didn’t confirm it? I have no idea whether all MLB clubs are in the business of accurately tracking which players have degrees and also are willing to share that information with journalists.

  14. rcali - May 18, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    I didn’t know it was that slow of a news day.

  15. jimmymarlinsfan - May 18, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Make lots of money playing baseball and go back to school after career to learn how to keep money and invest wisely and etc, etc, etc.

    But as well traveled as many of these athletes are, they meet many different people from many different places and have plenty of time to learn from these people…obviously there are stupid baseball players, just like any other walk of life but I find most major leaguers to be pretty cool and bright about what is going on in the world most especially in the digital age

    Baseball is the college and the road and the people they meet in life are their professors

  16. jfk69 - May 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Well thank g for that.
    At least we won’t have to pay off their student loans.
    Keep up the good work.

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