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.)

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

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