The sport of softball, a variation of baseball, is played on a smaller diamond but with a larger ball. Millions of Americans play softball as a recreational pastime, and there's also a female professional league. No male professional softball league exists in the United States as of the date of publication. Even though the sport itself is popular nationally, professional softball players make small salaries, especially in comparison to male professional baseball players.
Professional Softball Salaries
The National Pro Fastpitch softball league says its players make approximately $5,000 to $6,000 for a 48-game season running from June through August. According to a 2013 article in "The New York Times," some U.S.-based female professional softball players make up to $20,000 per season. Each NPF team has a $150,000 salary cap.
Supplementing Softball Salaries
U.S. women's professional softball players often seek to supplement their salaries by heading to Japan, where they can earn $60,000 or more playing for corporate teams. However, only the very best players draw offers from the Japanese teams. Since women's fast-pitch softball was dropped from the Olympics after the 2008 event, the national team stipends that once supported some of the sport's top female players have also disappeared.