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Lot # 744: 1921 Letter from T. L. Huston to Red Sox Treasurer Referencing Interest on Payment for Babe Ruth (ex-Barry Halper Collection)

Starting Bid: $500.00

Bids: 18 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2023 Summer Classic",
which ran from 7/16/2023 7:00 PM to
8/5/2023 10:00 PM

One-page typed file-copy letter, dated January 15, 1921, from New York Yankees co-owner T. L. Huston to Boston Red Sox treasurer U. J. Herrmann, regarding the payment of interest on one of the promissory notes issued to the Boston Red Sox for the sale of Babe Ruth's contract. In his letter, Huston apologizes for the lateness of the payment, which was due to a recent illness he incurred.

On December 26, 1919, the New York Yankees purchased Babe Ruth's contract from the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox received $100,000 for Ruth, with $25,000 paid in cash and the remainder to be paid in yearly installments of $25,000, with each note due on November 1st of 1920, 1921, and 1922, respectively. The Yankees also agreed to pay 6% interest per annum on each note. In addition, the Yankees provided Frazee a loan of $300,000, with Fenway Park issued as collateral. Although the deal was agreed upon on December 26, 1919, it was not announced to the press until January 5, 1920, because the Yankees wanted to wait until they had renegotiated Ruth's contract. Once that was done, the greatest transaction in sports history was completed, and the fortunes of each franchise were reversed almost overnight. The file-copy letter (8.5x10.75"), on onion skin, displays two horizontal folds, small edge tears and light creasing, and a handwritten notation in red pencil near the top border. 

This letter, along with nearly every other surviving document relating to the sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, originates from the estate of Ed Barrow, who was manager of the Boston Red Sox at the time of the transaction, and soon after became the longtime business manager/general manager of the New York Yankees. Many years after Barrow's death, legendary collector Barry Halper purchased Barrow's entire business archive from the Barrow family, which included dozens of documents relating to Boston's historic sale of Ruth. (Barry Halper's collection is considered by many to have been the finest private baseball-memorabilia collection ever assembled.) In 1999, Halper sold nearly his entire collection at auction through Sotheby's in New York (the collection was so vast that it took over a week of twice-daily live auctions and three months of weekly internet sales to liquidate it). Lot 560 in the live-auction portion of the sale featured a large collection of documents relating to the sale of Ruth, from which this letter, as well as every other "sale of Ruth" document featured in this and our previous auction, originates.

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