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THE 2008 FORTUNATE 50
41
(Tie)
Albert Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: 44
$13,000,000
$3,500,000
$16,500,000

The Cards' four starting infielders, Pujols, Adam Kennedy, César Izturis and Troy Glaus will cost the team about $32 million in '08 -- or around one-third of St. Louis' entire payroll.

41
(Tie)
Carlos Delgado
New York Mets (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: 48
$16,000,000
$500,000
$16,500,000

The Marlins are reportedly paying $4 million of Delgado's salary this year as part of the '05 trade that sent him to the Mets -- more than any current Florida player earns.

41
(Tie)
Andy Pettitte
New York Yankees (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: 38
$16,000,000
$500,000
$16,500,000

Five years ago, Pettitte was part of a five-man Yankee rotation earning a combined $45 million. Now, he and Mike Mussina (at $11 million) are the only ones making more than $4 million.

44
Jared Allen
Minnesota Vikings (NFL)
Last Year's Rank: NR
$16,250,069
$150,000
$16,400,069

The talented defensive end's off-the-field troubles didn't scare off the Vikings, who signed Allen to a six-year, $72 million deal, including a $15.5 million up-front signing bonus.

45
Ben Wallace
Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 36
$15,500,000
$750,000
$16,250,000

The Cavs shot-blocker's new sneaker, which was released last November, is manufactured by Stephon Marbury's discount "Starbury" brand -- the "Big Ben" retails for $15.

46
Jason Schmidt
Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: 41
$16,000,000
$250,000
$16,250,000

Schmidt, Rafael Furcal and Andruw Jones -- the Dodgers' three highest-paid players at a combined $43 million in '08 -- have each spent at least two weeks on the DL this season.

47
Elton Brand
Los Angeles Clippers (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: NR
$15,344,000
$500,000
$15,844,000

Rescue Dawn, the $10 million indie film starring Christian Bale that Brand co-produced, couldn't break even in theaters -- but is a cult hit on video. It's made around $20 million in DVD sales.

48
Amaré Stoudemire
Phoenix Suns (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: 50
$13,260,000
$2,500,000
$15,760,000

From one Valley of the Sun celeb to another: Amaré bought Cardinals QB Matt Leinart's home for $1.9 million last November, to add to his three other Phoenix-area properties.

49
Jim Furyk
Pro Golf
Last Year's Rank: NR
$4,754,046
$11,000,000
$15,754,046

Furyk becomes the first golfer to break the Tiger-Phil duopoly on the 50 thanks to endorsement deals that include Marquis Jet, Johnny Walker Collection and electric-utility company Exelon.

50
Eli Manning
New York Giants (NFL)
Last Year's Rank: NR
$8,450,000
$7,000,000
$15,450,000

The Fortunate 50's Mr. Irrelevant? Hardly. After his Super Bowl XXLI MVP performance, Eli's handlers say he has opportunities on the table to more than double his endorsement portfolio.

1 2 3 4 5
Sources: salaries, winnings and bonus figures from players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Endorsement estimates from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salaries based on current or most recently completed seasons (exception: 2008 for NFL). For winnings-based sports (auto racing, golf, tennis), 2007 calendar year amounts used.
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