On this day in 1919, Boston Red Sox Owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth’s contract to the New York Yankees. The move permanently altered the course of baseball history and created the “Curse of the Bambino (Ruth’s nickname).”
Ruth signed with the Red Sox as an ace pitcher in 1914. During his 5 years with the team, he compiled a record of 89-46 and won three World Series titles. However, Ruth also emerged as a one-of-a-kind power hitter during those five years and had expressed wishes to focus on that part of his game.
For reasons ranging from Frazee wishing to finance a musical to not wanting to meet Ruth’s salary demands, he sold his star player to the Yankees for $125,000 ($1.6 million in today’s dollars). You know the rest of the story. The Yankees won their first four Worlds Series titles with Ruth (The franchise now has 27.) and the Red Sox would not win another championship until 2004, finally breaking the “Curse.”