Dean, a fellow Yankees fan, blogger, and citizen of the Twitter World, sent me a link to a blog post he wrote. I normally don’t post the works of others on my blog, but I found this post extremely interesting.
Did you know that our beloved New York Yankees could have easily been the Boston Yankees?
As scary as that thought may be, it is completely true. The Yankees could have been based in Boston. The mere idea of “The Boston Yankees” sent a wave of horror and disgust throughout my body. I had to read and find out how this could possibly have happened! Luckily, Dean provided me with a link to his blog, in which he wrote about this historical fact.
I won’t tackle this topic myself, instead I will post his blog entry here for you to read.
This is some fascinating stuff, my friends. Enjoy.
Did you know that our beloved Yankees could have been known as the Boston Yankees? It’s true. Through my years, I have been led to believe that Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees to help the owner of the Red Sox finance his production of the play No. No, Nanette. I always thought of this as a funny but true story on the Curse of the Bambino, until I began reading A Yankees Century. It’s interesting, to note that several media publications on the sale of Ruth tell different stories. I tend to believe it being a difference of opinion between Red Sox and Yankees authors.
During the early 1900’s there was a lot of political corruption around the teams of major league baseball. Organizational battles led to schemes against each other in order to obtain power. Evidently, Ruth’s sale was “the result of a long and complicated political power struggle within the American League, pitting the Red Sox, Yankees, and WhiteSox against AL founder and president Ban Johnson and the rest of the league.” The “curse” contends that the Yankees purchase was dependent on the team’s agreement to loan Boston owner Harry Frazee $350,000, taking the mortgage of Fenway Park as collateral. It gets interesting from here. Frazee actually never owned Fenway Park at the time of the Ruth sale, but he did purchase the ballpark a few months after the sale, and then the Yankees secretly loaned the Boston owner the $350,000, taking the title as collateral. This was to thwart Johnson, and his ruthless attempt to dismember the three team alliance by establishing full power over team rights. Johnson wanted to dismember the Red Sox and take away the franchise from Frazee, thus minimizing the alliances threat on his stature in the league. But without Frazee, the team’s new owners would have no park to play in. The Yankees owned the rights. At the same time in early 1920 Johnson threatened Yankees owners Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Cap Huston in New York, and tried to force the NL’s New York Giants owner Charles Stoneham to cancel the Yankees lease at the Polo Ground’s. Johnson thought this would force the Yankees to sell the team since they wouldn’t have a place to play, but he was wrong. The Yankees unbeknownst to Johnson had Fenway Park. Or did they? Whether this is all believable is left to you. It all sounds corrupt to me. But it was the the early part of the 20th century, and illegal deals and backstabbing was part of the business.
Think about it though. Things would have been different. The Yankees would have continued to play ball, sharing Fenway with the Red Sox, and created a new team called the Boston Yankees, thus also returning Babe Ruth to the city that used his departure as an championship-less excuse for 86 years. The Giants owner upon learning of the situation
got cold feet, and pulled out of the plot, renewing the Yankees lease at the Polo Grounds. Boston lost out on The Bambino twice. Could you imagine what our baseball world would be like, if the Yankees had departed up north to Boston, and played at Fenway. Would Babe Ruth have been the same player? We wouldn’t have had our #3, the Sultan of Swat. Oh the horror. If you get a chance, read the full story about the Boston Yankees in A Yankees Century “100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball.” There is so much history with the Yankees, who would have thought because of big headed men, a powerhouse organization might not have been.