Got $1 Million Lying Around? Contract From 1919 That Sent Babe Ruth To Yankees For Sale
The contract of probably the most important trade in all of sports history is for sale, but you are going to have to pony up some major coin to nab it. The contract that sent Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees has hit the auction block.
The infamous trade sent both franchises in opposite directions happened in 1919. The Red Sox sold the rights to Babe Ruth for $100,000, the largest sum ever paid for a baseball player. Brewer and former congressman Jacob Ruppert, the principal owner of the Yankees, also gave a $350,000 loan to Harry Frazee, the owner of the Red Sox. That one transaction changed the fortunes of both clubs immediately and sparked the “Curse of the Bambino.”
The document that both owners signed back in 1919 is for sale and is expected to fetch a fortune. Lelands.com has put Ruppert’s copy of the historic contract up for auction along with his 1927 World Series ring. Starting bids started at $100,000.
The nearly century-old document is expected to have a final price of over $1 million. In 2005, Frazee’s copy of the agreement was purchased at a Sotheby’s auction house for $996,000.
“The price was something enormous, but I do not care to name the figures,” Frazee told the Boston Globe back on January 6, 1920. “It was an amount the club could not afford to refuse.”
“I should have preferred to have taken players in exchange for Ruth, but no club could have given me the equivalent in men without wrecking itself, and so the deal had to be made on a cash basis,” the Red Sox owner said. “No other club could afford to give the amount the Yankees have paid for him, and I do not mind saying I think they are taking a gamble.”
Yeah, that was some “gamble” the Yankees took. Since the infamous trade, the Red Sox went 86 years without a title and the Yankees won 26 world championships in the same time.