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Would you rather: Gold medal or baseball?

Aug 10, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

would you rather

I asked this on Twitter a few minutes ago and was sort of fascinated by the strong yet far from unanimous opinions, so I’m curious to hear what HBT nation thinks:

Would you rather be the gold medal winner in a relatively obscure Olympic sport or the 200th-best baseball player in MLB?

For me the answer is definitely the 200th-best baseball player–which is basically the seventh-best player on an average team–because that guy is most likely making millions of dollars per year for multiple years and … well, baseball is pretty great as far as sports go.

I asked Calcaterra and he agreed: “200th-best baseball player. No question.” And yet plenty of replies on Twitter felt strongly about preferring the gold medal.

What say you?

  1. paperlions - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    200th best baseball player, not close.

    I would even take 400th best baseball player, still not close.

    • pmcenroe - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      yep definitely

    • ajcardsfan - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Hmm, I’d take the money of the 200th best player. If I have to be recognized for something, I’m going for the gold medal. Why? Because according to ESPN the 200th best player is Geovany Soto and I’ll burn before I acknowledge that I play for the Cubs.

      • WhyDoIActuallyCare - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        While I totally understand the sentiment, Soto was traded to the Rangers. As such, I would totally be the 200th best player so that I could have a chance at a WS win.

      • ezthinking - Aug 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        Plus the post-season bonus for even the teams that just missed the playoff is better than any payday in three-man pocket pool or individual butterfly catching.

  2. danaking - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Baseball. No question.

    • danaking - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      And forget the money. The obscure Olympian busts his ass for years in the hope he’ll get one shot, sink or swim. Baseball players get to play the game every day. No contest.

  3. zzalapski - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Baseball player. The obscure gold medal winner would probably still need a day job.

  4. steveflack - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Gold medalist, because, really, who wants to be a Met?

  5. cdeangelus - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    One of the things I love about baseball is the idea of “he’s in the book.” A rookie pitcher comes up, makes a relief appearance, gives up 7 runs over 2/3rds of an inning, and is never heard from again. But he’s in the big book of baseball, and is now a part of that great, fantastic history. I always wanted to be in that book, even if it means taking a beating.

    Oh to be a part of baseball history, even if just a footnote.

  6. acdc363 - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    What a silly question! Obviously I’d rather be a gold medal winning synchronized swimmer than a millionaire!

  7. IdahoMariner - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    200th baseball player. Easy. I can take some of my baseball cash and travel to all of the cool places the Olympics are held. Rest of the time, I get to be paid to play baseball.

  8. atworkident - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    200th best baseball player

    If I was a pitcher I would still be a top of the rotation guy in Baltimore or the starting third baseman.

  9. Francisco (FC) - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM


  10. georgewashingtonsghost - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I’d choose being the worst player in the majors over a gold medal winner. As someone mentioned earlier, to be “in the book” is one of the biggest goals for anyone who ever put on a glove and stepped on a ball field.

  11. madhatternalice - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    A gold medal, but only for a country that actually cares about their Olympic athletes :)

    Endorsement deals alone would be awesome. The dude who won Algeria’s only medal medal (1500m, I think)? Heck, their ONLY medal. Surely one could parlay that into something else.

  12. mybrunoblog - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Baseball over the Olympic gold. All day long.

  13. shaggylocks - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Gold medal. Both pro baseball players and Olympic athletes devote their lives to their sport, and I’d rather be the absolute, undisputed best at what I’ve devoted my life to, even if it’s relatively obscure.

  14. cur68 - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    MLB Player for me, not even a second thought. The list of reasons are self evident so I won’t give the exhaustive rundown. However, the top 2 are being paid like a CEO for goofing off and meeting all the nice girls who, for some reason, love me.

  15. chill1184 - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Baseball, in addition the Gold Medals they present at the Olympics arent event fully solid gold anymore.

  16. djpostl - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Shatner. I’d fight William Shatner.

    Oh, wait..wrong question.

    Baseball. Definitely baseball.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM


  17. kkolchak - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Baseball. How is this even a debate?

    In addition to having to wait around four years to get your shot at glory, Olympic athletes don’t get paid, and only the small handful of superstars get the big endorsement deals.

    • madhatternalice - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      Most Olympic athletes compete all over the world in competition for the other 3 years and 49 weeks. Just because it doesn’t make the front page of the WWL doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen…

  18. yankeesgameday - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    I dunno, go ask Nick Swisher.

  19. steveohho - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Its a subjective question. Much like whether you prefer that your toilet tissue unwinds over or under the spool?

    • kkolchak - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      Except that if you pay me $3 million a year to have mine unwind over the spool, guess what, that sucker is gonna unwind over the spool. In fact, I’ll make sure I go around other bathrooms adjusting every toilet paper roll I see. I’ll be the toilet paper roll adjuster MVP.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        Toilet Paper Rool Adjuster MVP. Well done!
        Can I have your autograph? I have always wanted an MVP’s autograph.
        Can you sign this roll of TP for me?

  20. dowhatifeellike - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    The 200th best baseball player… probably 6th or 7th best on the team…probably makes a couple million per year… yeah, I’ll take that. Winning a gold medal is a great achievement, but I’d rather play baseball half of every year.

  21. poprox13 - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Easy, baseball

  22. jeffrp - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Baseball and it’s not close.

  23. cleverbob - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Depends on the Olympic event. Bragging rights for being the greatest ping pong player on Earth would be pretty slick…

  24. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    As Kenny Powers once said. “I play real sports. I’m not trying to be the best at exercising.”

    Seriously, baseball players play every day. Olympians practice every day. Forget the money. The truly great thing about baseball is every day is a new opportunity at success.

  25. jkcalhoun - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    I would take Moonlight Graham’s major league baseball career over an Olympic gold medal.

    But don’t forget to mail me those MLBPA pension checks.

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