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Top 5 Yankees-Red Sox Moments: Selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees

Babe Ruth (Photo by Getty Images)

#1: Babe Ruth to the Yankees

How could anyone, any team, in their right mind even consider selling/trading Babe Ruth?

I mean, come on, he is only the:

Sultan of Swat! The King of Crash! The Colossus of Crout!

The Great BAMBINO!

“Oh! The Great Bambino. Of Course. I thought you said the Great Bambi.”

“That wimpy dear?”

Before signing with the Yankees, Babe Ruth was anything but a wimpy dear and posted impressive numbers such as:

  • 18-8 record pitching (yes pitching) and .315 batting average in 1915
  • 23-12, 1.75 earned run average in 1916
  • 24-13, 2.01 earned run average and .325 batting average in 1917
  • 13-7, 2.22 earned run average, led the league with 11 home runs in 1918

Oh yeah, and not to mention, three World Series rings with the Red Sox…yes you heard right, World Series rings with the Red Sox and no, not that wimpy dear.

The Sale of the Greatest Player Ever

One can only wonder how Babe Ruth could just be put up for sale like groceries at a supermarket. Is there even a price tag big enough for such a transaction?

Harry Frazee, owner of the Red Sox from 1916-1923, sold Ruth to the Yankees to finance a broadway play. That’s one story. Another story could be that Babe Ruth was rising faster than anyone expected and Frazee and the Boston Red Sox simply did not have the money that a player of Ruth’s caliber was worth. After demands for a raise and more money, Frazee had no choice but to put the emergent superstar on the market and either trade him or sell him.

In 1919, the price tag on Babe Ruth read $125,000. One could only wonder what his value would be today.

Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do.

Babe Ruth and The Yankees

In 1920, Ruth’s first full season with the Yankees, The Babe redefined the game of baseball and introduced the home run to the world. Babe Ruth hit 54 home runs in 1920 and 59 in 1921. His home runs soared in every stadium and were recorded at record length, travgeling close to 500 feet. Babe Ruth is most famous for his 1927 season, accompanied by what is considered the best line-up in history, Murderers Row.

Surpassing his previous record of 59 home runs in a season, Babe Ruth clocked in his 60th home run on September 30th, his seventeenth home run of the month; a record that stood until the 1961 season.

The Babe is not only considered the greatest Yankee of all time but the greatest player ever to step foot on a baseball diamond.

The Aftermath

Since 1918, Babe’s last year with the Red Sox, the Yankees have won 27 World Series Championships and the Red Sox have won 2. Before 2004, the Red Sox had won none, resulting in the hate and cursing of names like Bill Buckner, Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent, and of course, Babe Ruth.

The Curse of the Bambino.

The tale of two cities. The reversal of fortune. Two teams switching places on a heirarchy.

The Red Sox fell into a drought and one big black hole of 86 years after being one of the most succesful franchises in baseball. Before acquiring Babe Ruth, the Yankees were simply just another team in Major League Baseball. After acquiring Babe Ruth, the Yankees became the team to beat and it has remained that way to this day.

The Red Sox had their fair share of poignant moments that could have reversed the curse, appearing in the World Series three times and playing in the postseason numerous times. If Johnny Pesky threw out Enos Slaughter at home during the 1946 World Series, the curse would have vanished then. If the Red Sox held the 14-game lead they had over the Yankees, the curse would have been halted in 1978. If Bill Buckner fielded a routine ground ball he normally came up with and if Aaron Boone never signed with the Yankees, the curse would have been stored away with each and every blunder, error, and mistake.

If the Red Sox did not come from behind and beat the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series, we would still be talking about the curse today. The ghost of Babe Ruth would still be roaming around, haunting the lives of those who stepped foot in Fenway.

Thanks to Harry Frazee and his financial difficulties, history was written. Without the Curse of the Bambino, we would have no fights, no Derek Jeters diving into stands, no bloody sock, no Aaron Boones, Don Zimmers, and Bill Buckners.

Without Babe Ruth, there would be no Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

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One comment for “Top 5 Yankees-Red Sox Moments: Selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees”

  1. New Post: Top 5 Yankees-Red Sox Moments: Selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees

    Posted by Sports of New York | September 26, 2011, 1:49 am

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