NEW YORK TIMES 1920
Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox, baseball’s superslugger, was purchased by the Yankees today for the largest cash sum ever paid for a player. The New York club paid Harry Frazee of Boston $125,000 for the sensational batsman who last season caused such a furor in the national game by batting out twenty-nine home runs, a new record in long-distance clouting.
Colonel Ruppert, President of the Yanks, said that he had taken over Ruth’s Boston contract, which has two years more to run. This contract calls for a salary of $10,000 a year. Ruth recently announced that he would refuse to play for $10,000 next season, although the Boston Club has received no request for a raise in salary.
Manager Miller Huggins is now in Los Angeles negotiating with Ruth. It is believed that the Yankee manager will offer him a new contract which will be satisfactory to the Colossus of the bat. President Ruppert said yesterday Ruth would probably play right field for the Yankees. He played in left field for the Red Sox last season, and had the highest fielding average among the outfielders, making only two errors during the season. While he is on the Pacific Coast, Manager Huggins will also endeavor to sign Duffy Lewis, who will be one of Ruth’s companions in the outfield at the Polo Grounds next season.
Mr. Frazee said tonight that he had sold Ruth to the New York Americans because he thought it was an “injustice” to keep him with the Red Sox, who “were fast becoming a one-man team.” Mr. Frazee said he would use the money obtained from the New York Club for the purchase of other players and would try to develop the Red Sox into a winning team.
Ruth was told by The Associated Press in Los Angeles that Colonel Ruppert had announced the deal. “I am not surprised,” he said. “When I made my demand on the Red Sox for $20,000 a year, I had an idea they would choose to sell me rather than pay the increase, and I knew the Yankees were the most probable purchasers in that event.”
The acquisition of Ruth strengthens the Yankee club in its weakest department. With the added hitting power of Ruth, Bob Shawkey, one of the Yankee pitchers, said yesterday the New York club should be a pennant winner next season. For several seasons the Yankees have been experimenting with outfielders, but never have been able to land a consistent hitter. The short right field wall at the Polo Grounds should prove an easy target for Ruth next season and, playing seventy- seven games at home, it would not be surprising if Ruth surpassed his home-run record of twenty-nine circuit clouts next summer.
Ruth was such a sensation last season that he supplanted the great Ty Cobb as baseball’s greatest attraction, and in obtaining the services of Ruth for next season the New York club made a tenstrike which will be received with the greatest enthusiasm by Manhattan baseball fans.
Ruth’s crowning batting accomplishment came at the Polo Grounds last fall when he hammered one of the longest hits ever seen in Harlem over the right field grandstand for his twenty-eighth home run, smashing the home-run record of twenty-seven, made by Ed Williamson way back in 1884.