Two-page typed agreement, dated December 15, 1919, between Red Sox majority owner Harry Frazee and Charles Taylor, in which Frazee agrees to purchase Taylor's 1,500 shares of preferred stock of the Boston American League Baseball Club. The agreement calls for Frazee to pay Taylor $150,000 for the shares, plus an additional $13,500 in both paid and unpaid dividends due to him. Signed in black fountain pen (grading 9/10 overall) by both Frazee and Taylor, plus a witness.
The purchase of Taylor's shares of preferred stock was necessary for Frazee in order to ultimately obtain full ownership of Fenway Park, which was to be used as collateral for a $300,000 loan he hoped to receive from the New York Yankees. The loan was an integral part of the deal for the sale of Babe Ruth's contract, along with $100,000, which occurred on December 26, 1919. Accompanying the agreement is a two-page typed letter, dated December 15, 1919, from Thomas Barry, Frazee's attorney, which represents the original draft of the agreement. Frazee made several changes to the agreement in black ink, and signed the final page in black fountain pen (grading 9/10). Both the final agreement (8.5x13") and draft letter (8.5x11") display several horizontal folds and light creases. The agreement is marked "Duplicate" in black ink in the upper left corner. Both documents have been encapsulated by PSA, with the Frazee signatures each certified as "Authentic."
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 our previous auction, originates.