Goldin Elite Auction Closing August 22 10PM Est
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It was simply one of the most historic sales in all of sports. Not a team for sale or relocation, but one player sold to another franchise. It was a sale that literally turned the fortunes of both franchises, sending one into perennial title contenders and a destination spot for future stars and another into 86 years of mediocrity and agonizing heartbreak. It was the Boston Red Sox selling the immortal Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox were the Yankees of baseball in the early 20th century, winning five World Series titles following the mergers of the American and National Leagues in 1901, with the last one coming in 1918 led by Ruth. The Yankees, up to that point, had not even won the American league – whether from their days as the Highlanders from 1903 – 1912 or the Yankees from 1913 and on. The Yankees didn’t even have their own stadium as they shared the Polo Grounds with the New York Giants. The sale of Ruth to the Yankee saw the franchise win their first pennant in 1921 and their first World Series title in 1923 – which just happened to coincide with the opening of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The Red Sox would not win another World Series title for 86 years following the 1918 triumph as their years of mediocrity and postseason failures were dubbed “the curse of the Bambino”.

When it was all said and done, the deal for Ruth was for $100,000 which also included an additional $300,000 loan that was taken against Fenway Park as a second mortgage. Red Sox owner Harry Frazee and the club were in dire financial straits due to dwindling attendance resulting from the onset of World War I. Common lore has it that Frazee sold Ruth to finance one of his Broadway plays “No, No, Nanette”, but this was just one of many factors that led Frazee to part ways with his biggest cash cow in Babe Ruth.

Offered here is a truly historical check as it was one of the payments directly tied to the sale of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees. The check is dated “June 13th, 1922” and was paid in the amount of “$50,000.00” to “YORKVILLE BANK”. This check has “THE SUM OF “$50000AND00CTS.” printed in bold red across the payment line. The check has been signed by Yankees owner and Hall of Famer Jacob Ruppert and countersigned by then co-owner Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston vertically on left. The back of the check has printed “In payment of note---Boston American League Baseball Club due June 5th 50,000.00”. The sum of money involved with this check with the note regarding the “Boston American League Baseball Club” indicate that this check was directly part of the Ruth sale as there were no other transactions between the two clubs for that sum of money. The check is good overall condition with the hole punch payment clearing holes and the signatures of Ruppert and Huston are still bold. This check has been encapsulated and authenticated by PSA/DNA (84198494).

Historic New York Yankees Babe Ruth Sale to Yankees Payment Check To Boston Red Sox Signed By Jacob Ruppert To Complete Financial Obligations (PSA/DNA)
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