MLB

David Price Almost Quit Baseball and Got a Job at McDonald’s Before Making $184 Million in the Big Leagues

While everyone loves to see home runs, defense and pitching are the basis of most successful baseball teams. During his time in the big leagues, few men have been more reliable on the mound than David Price; that reality, however, almost never happened.

Before he ever reached Major League Baseball, Price considered leaving the mound forever and taking a job at McDonald’s. While there’s nothing wrong with slinging burgers and fries, the pitcher is probably glad he didn’t pursue a career in fast food.

David Price’s impressive baseball career

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These days, David Price wears the blue and white of the Los Angeles Dodgers. His career, however, started on the opposite side of the country.

After an impressive high school career in Tennessee, Price chose to attend the University of Vanderbilt rather than signing a contract with the Dodgers organization. That proved to be the right decision, as he developed into the top hurler in the college ranks.

The Tampa Bay Rays selected Price with the first-overall pick of the 2007 MLB draft and signed the prospect to a sizable contract. After one season in the minors, he was ready for the big leagues; by 2009, he was a regular in the starting rotation. Price improved with each passing campaign and, by 2012, had become a Cy Young-quality starter.

Price’s time in Florida, however, ultimately came to an end. In July 2014, the Rays traded their ace to the Detroit Tigers. That deal started a merry-go-round of movement; after a year in the Motor City, the lefty spent another one-off campaign in Toronto.

After the 2015 season, Price finally hit free agency and chose his own destination; he landed with the Boston Red Sox, signing a massive, seven-year contract. His time in Beantown, however, proved to be a mixed bad. While Price had a strong 2018, winning a World Series title and Comeback Player of the Year honors, he also missed most of the 2017 and 2019 seasons before being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Leaving baseball behind for McDonald’s

Over the past decade, David Price has made a name for himself as one of Major League Baseball’s best pitchers. During college, though, he almost traded his glove for a spatula.

“In January 2005, during his freshman year at Vanderbilt, David Price decided to drop out of school, quit baseball, and work at McDonald’s,” Lee Jenkins explained in a Sports Illustrated feature. “He picked his preferred location, near his home in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He told his father, Bonnie, about his plan. Then he informed Vandy coach Tim Corbin of his intention in a tearful meeting in the Commodores’ locker room.”

For all of Price’s talent, the young pitcher had struggled during an intrasquad game and wasn’t sure if he could make it at the college level. After a conversation with his coach, however, he decided to stick it out.

“He had to survive that moment to show he could survive as a pitcher,” Corbin told Jenkins.

In an ESPN online chat, Price confirmed that he considered leaving baseball behind, but explained that McDonald’s wasn’t his long-term career goal. “That is true,” he explained. “I almost quit baseball not to work at McDonald’s but to get a job and take my mind off of baseball and try something else. Obviously, I am very glad I did not do that.”

David Price has reaped the financial rewards from that decision

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Thanks to that conversation with his college coach, David Price stuck with baseball and blossomed into a star. It goes without saying that he’s since reaped the financial rewards from that decision.

While he’s bounced around the league a surprising amount for a star pitcher, Price has still earned plenty of money in the big leagues. During his 12 professional seasons, the lefty has earned just over $184 million, according to Spotrac; thanks to the seven-year, $217 million contract he signed with the Red Sox, there’s still plenty more salary on the way.

CelebrityNetWorth also estimates the pitcher’s fortune at $80 million. Hopefully, he gave Coach Corbin a cut of the profits.

Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference