“Babe” Ruth, home-run hitter extraordinary of the Red Sox, has been sold to the New York American League club for a cash price of probably $100,000 and possibly more.
Pres Frazee in announcing the sale at Red Sox headquarters in the Carney Building late yesterday afternoon declined to state the amount.
“The price was something enormous, but I do not care to name the figures,” said Mr Frazee. “It was an amount the club could not afford to refuse.
“I should have preferred to have taken players in exchange for Ruth, but no club could have given me the equivalent in men without wrecking itself, and so the deal had to be made on a cash basis.
“No other club could afford to give the amount the Yankees have paid for him, and I do not mind saying I think they are taking a gamble.
“With this money the Boston club can now go into the market and buy other players and have a stronger and better team in all respects than we would have if Ruth had remained with us.
“I do not wish to detract one iota from Ruth’s ability as a ball player nor from his value as an attraction, but there is no getting away from the fact that despite his 29 home runs, the Red Sox finished sixth in the race last season.
“What the Boston fans want, I take it, and what I want because they want it, is a winning team, rather than a one-man team which finishes in sixth place.”
Ruth popular in Boston
Ruth was very popular in Boston, and for sentimental reasons the fans may first be inclined to regard his transfer to the Yankees with disfavor, but if they withhold judgment until they have thoroughly sized up the affair, the chances are that they will agree with Pres Frazee and others that the sale of “Babe” will, eventually, redound to the welfare of the Boston club.
“Cy” Young, Tris Speaker and other stars were let go and the Red Sox still won championships. Ruth and others came along and helped them to win, and it may reasonably be expected that the club will again do without Ruth what it did without Young, Speaker and the others.
Considering what the club received for its right to him; the risk of carrying such a valuable player, and all the other circumstances, it is hard to see how Frazee could have turned down New York’s offer for the star, and it looks as if he had made a good bargain.
If “Babe” should hold up for a couple of years, the Yankees will undoubtedly get their money back and much more, but if, for instance, he should be injured while at the training camp next Spring, he would prove a costly buy for them. His weak knee makes him susceptible to injury and no insurance can be bought against a ball player being hurt on the field.
With the money the club has received, it should be able to buy three or four great players and go into the race next season with a much stronger team than it would have if Ruth were retained, and no new talent was secured.
Ruth says sale to the New York club doesn’t go
Johnny Igoe, Ruth’s business manager, who is in Boston, having recently returned from the Pacific Coast, notified Ruth last evening by telegraph of his sale to the New York club, and at 11:30 received the following telegram from “Babe”:
“Will not play anywhere but Boston. Will leave for the East Monday.”
Igoe gave as a reason for Ruth’s objection to playing with any club other than the Red Sox, that the big fellow had invested his money in the cigar business in Boston and that he wished to be here as much as possible to look after his business. Also, that because of his associations here he preferred to play with a Boston club rather than any other.
Notwithstanding the Ruth telegram, Miller Huggins declared in a statement made at Los Angeles last night that he had actually signed the great slugger. Papers were exchanged, Huggins said.