The New York Yankees’ acquisition of Babe Ruth in 1920 is one of the most iconic moments in sports history. It is often referred to as “The Curse of the Bambino”, as the Yankees went on to win an unprecedented 27 World Series titles over the next two decades. But how much did the Yankees actually pay for the hall-of-fame slugger?
Babe Ruth’s Early Career
Babe Ruth, born George Herman Ruth Jr., is widely considered the greatest baseball player of all-time. He began his Major League career with the Boston Red Sox in 1914 and quickly rose to fame due to his prodigious hitting ability. He led the league in home runs in six of the next eight seasons and helped the Red Sox to two World Series titles in 1915 and 1916.
The Sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees
In 1919, the Red Sox owner, Harry Frazee, made a fateful decision to sell Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000 and a $350,000 loan. The reasoning behind the sale was to help Frazee finance his Broadway play, No, No Nanette. This sale would prove to be one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history.
The Money Behind the Sale
The $125,000 that the Yankees paid for Ruth was split between the Red Sox and Ruth himself. Of this amount, the Red Sox received $100,000 and Ruth was given $25,000. The $350,000 loan was also split between the two parties, with the Red Sox receiving $300,000 and Ruth receiving the remaining $50,000.
The Immediate Impact of the Sale
The immediate effect of the sale was felt by the Red Sox, as they failed to win a single World Series title in the next 86 years. The Yankees, on the other hand, went on to win 10 World Series titles in the next 18 years, with Ruth playing a major role in four of those championships.
The Long-Term Impact of the Sale
The long-term impact of the sale was felt much more significantly by both the Red Sox and Yankees. The Yankees’ dynasty was established and the team went on to win 27 World Series titles over the next two decades. This was largely due to the impact of Ruth and his “Curse of the Bambino”. The Red Sox, on the other hand, suffered an 86-year drought before finally winning a World Series title in 2004.
The Legacy of the Sale
The sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees is one of the most famous trades in sports history. It is often referred to as “The Curse of the Bambino” and is credited with establishing the Yankees’ dynasty. The sale also had a significant impact on the Red Sox, who went 86 years without winning a World Series title.
Ruth’s Impact on the Yankees
Ruth’s impact on the Yankees was immense. In his first season with the team, he hit an incredible 54 home runs and batted .376. He also led the team to their first World Series title in 1923. Ruth went on to win four World Series titles with the Yankees and set numerous records that still stand today.
Ruth’s Impact on Baseball
Ruth’s impact on baseball was even more significant. He revolutionized the game and is credited with popularizing the home run. He also changed the way the game was played, as teams began to build lineups around power hitters instead of contact hitters.
The sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920 was one of the most important moments in sports history. The Yankees went on to win an unprecedented 27 World Series titles over the next two decades, and Ruth’s impact on the game of baseball was immense. For the modest sum of $125,000, the Yankees acquired a legendary player who would help them establish a dynasty.