Baseball Pitcher Gil Meche Turned Down $12 Million

BlogHer Original Post

It isn't often that someone just walks away from a guaranteed $12.4 million, but that is exactly what Kansas City Royals pitcher Gil Meche did last week.

In a practically unprecedented show of moral fiber in Major League Baseball, Gilbert Meche decided to retire with a year remaining on his contract. That year guaranteed him a $12.4 million salary - even if it meant him sitting out while in recovery for a needed surgery.

Meche didn't quit because he was angry with the team; in fact, it is quite the opposite. Gil said that the Royals had treated him so well that he wasn't comfortable taking $12 million that he didn't feel he earned.

I know. I can't believe it either.

$12.4 million!

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 25:  Pitcher Gil Meche #55 of the Kansas City Royals poses for a portrait during Spring Training Photo Day on February 25, 2007 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Meche said "When I signed my contract, my main goal was to earn it. Once I started to realize I wasn’t earning my money, I felt bad. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I didn’t want to have those feelings again."

It wasn't just that he wanted to retire. Meche wanted to do the right thing. Seriously? I feel like I should take back some of the things I have said about professional baseball players. Then again, I'm not going to hold my breath for Derek Jeter to follow suit.

I kid... It's actually a breath of fresh air. This proves that greed is not the driving force behind all professional athletes. It's insane, but ya gotta hand it to the guy. He's got balls.

- Sooze, Babes Love Baseball

Gil Meche is an anomaly. Not just in baseball, not just in professional sports. Gil Meche is only 32-years-old, but he has done quite well for himself being a professional baseball player, and he can support his three children. I suppose the $43 million he has earned since 2005 will cover college for three, but an extra $12 million could have put all of his grandchildren though the Ivy League.

Don't misunderstand me. I am not saying what Meche did was wrong. In fact, I think it is one of the most noble stories I have heard all year. I am just a little surprised. How many Americans would do something like this? I'd love to say I would, but let's not get crazy. I made less than $20,000 last year - I would probably keep $12 that I didn't earn.

He walked away from millions of dollars because he didn't feel like he deserved it. Screw going out winning a World Series. Gil Meche just showed Major League Baseball and the rest of us how you retire with dignity.

(Yes, I'm looking at you Brett Favre.)


BlogHer Contributing Editor, Sarah can also be found at Sarah and the Goon Squad and Draft Day Suit.


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