Harry Frazee Sells Babe Ruth to New York
written by Harvey Frommer
written by Harvey Frommer
"On a cold January 5, 1920, Babe Ruth, 24, was sold by Red Sox owner Harry Frazee to the New York Yankees for $125,000. Frazee was also given a $350,000 mortgage on Fenway Park by Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert. In four years as a pitcher Ruth was 78-40. In 1919, he batted .322 with 29 home runs playing left field for the Red Sox...
When Frazee sold Ruth, Red Sox general manager (soon to be Yankee general manager) Ed Barrow had told Frazee: "You ought to know that you're making a mistake."
Oh, what a mistake! …
The dark age of Boston baseball can be traced directly to the sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Beginning in 1919 the BoSox began a 15-year steak of losing campaigns, dropping at least 100 games in a season five times, and at least 90 games five more times. Last place finishers in that era nine times, they were a sad excuse for a baseball franchise.
The golden age of Yankee baseball can be traced directly to their acquisition of the George Herman Ruth. The Yankees have won 26 world titles since the Red Sox won their last …"
I am a card-carrying member of the Red Sox Nation. They finally broke the curse of 'The Babe' by winning the World Series in 2004 and again in 2007. One of our very best friends (you remember Mr. Moose from our Christmas Birthday Celebration) is a die-hard New York Yankee fan. From April until the end of the World Series, we plan our visits around when the two teams play against each other. I subscribe to pay-per-view baseball so I can watch all the games. And I get really annoyed when the games in California are blacked out. Don’t they know I paid dearly for those games and can’t possibly get to see them in person?? Lordy… where is the common sense!! Oh yes, I know it all centers on the almighty dollar.
Can you believe that Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees for ONLY $125,000? Not too many days ago, the Yankee Organization paid Mark Teixeira $180 MILLION for an 8 year contract!!! OY!!!!!!!!!!!! The Yankees have pockets lined deeply with green to pay for all their talent. They did pick up some big names on today’s baseball menu since the 2008 season ended (CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Teixeira); and they already have a bunch of talented big name players. In most cases, once you put those pinstripes on, you have a name in baseball. It will be interesting to see if the money spent pays off for them.
And then there are the Red Sox. The purchase power of their pockets is not quite as deep and their philosophy isn’t “the more you spend, the better you become.” I’m not saying that’s a bad philosophy to have. However, the American League MVP, Dustin Pedroia, worked his way up in the Red Sox farm club system. His second season playing for the Big Boys in Boston was 2008; and he played last year for about $800,000. Oh boy, did he ever play!!! Not only was he voted AL MVP, but he also won the Gold Glove Award at Second Base and a Silver Bat Award for 2008. In his rookie year (2007), he won a World Series Ring as well as being voted American League Rookie of the Year. So I am watching the Red Sox nurture and promote from within their own system.
And when all is said and done, all this doesn’t matter. If you’re a fan, you are a fan – in any sport. And you hope your team is successful.