Here’s a Boston Red Sox history lesson, whether you want to read it or not.
Ninety-five years ago Monday, the Red Sox finalized the sale of Babe Ruth — which was agreed upon Dec. 26, 1919 — to the New York Yankees, sparking arguably the most bitter rivalry in all of sports. As the story goes, then-Red Sox owner Harry Frazee used the $100,000 the club received in the deal to finance a play called “My Lady Friends.”
The comedy was a failure, much like the Red Sox for the next 86 years.
Ruth, on the other hand, went on to bat .349 with 659 home runs in 15 seasons with the Yankees, leading the team to four World Series titles. The Red Sox wouldn’t see the postseason again until 1946 and, as you probably know, wouldn’t be world champs until 2004.
But now that the Red Sox have enjoyed more October success than the Yankees over the past 10 years, and the wounds have healed some, it’s actually interesting to look at just how ridiculous the trade was.
Nowadays, trading a player straight up for cash considerations usually means the player is mediocre and a fair trade involving other players can’t be worked out. Ruth, of course, was far from mediocre, and the 1919 Yankees were actually better than the Red Sox, so it’s safe to say they could’ve received a little more in return. Essentially, the trade was today’s equivalent of the Red Sox sending David Ortiz to the Bronx for a million bucks.
Frazee tried to justify the move, calling Ruth “one of the most selfish and inconsiderate men ever to put on a baseball uniform,” per CBS Sports, but fans likely weren’t too keen on that excuse. And they definitely wouldn’t agree if they knew how history would unfold.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@FOXDeportes