Red Sox History:Ruthian Era 1914-60
July 11,1914: Ruth debut
Tom & Jean Yawkey
1914 through 1960
It was on this date in 1914, George Herman Ruth made his pitching debut for the Boston Red Sox at Comiskey Park in Chicago. He appeared in a total of five games that year, signed by the short term owner, Joe Lannin. He was optioned to the minors until securing a spot with the big league team, the following Spring Training Season. Harry Frazee bought the Sox in 1916 for half a million dollars. Thus marks the emergence of drama and possibly the greatest rivalry within sport ever to be told.
It all began in 1917 while on the mound; Ruth took exception with the umpire’s strike zone. Ruth’s decided to throw a haymaker at the ump, similar to “Big Poppy’s” foray this past weekend. Although it didn’t do any damage, it’s sufficient to scare the hell outta the man on the receiving end. Thus we have the basis for the curse of the Bambino. Suffice it to say, Ruth was plagued by self discipline problems throughout his career.
Can you imagine having to put up with, say a modern day Manny Ramirez on your club? In any event, December 26th, 1919, Frazee had enough of Ruth’s antics and the rest is history. Although legend has it, he sold Ruth to finance a Broadway Play, “No No Nanette”, truth be told, Ruth wanted a significant raise, double his previous salary. Frazee’s interest seemed to favor the December 1919 play on Broadway needing finance “My Lady Friends.” The Broadway play widely held for this sale being “No No Nanette” did not debut until 1925.
Beginning in 1920, Harry Frazee made it clear he was getting out of the Baseball business. He began liquidating his star players in some of the most outrageous one sided trades in history. From 1925 through 1932 the Bosox were losing, on average, 100 games per year. Considering the success they had prior to, as well as during the Ruthian Era, they were flat out, sold out by Frazee. Finally the Boston faithful were granted relief, as Tom Yawkey bought the club in ‘33. Let the healing and building process begin; with the acquisition of legends Joe Cronin, Lefty Grove, Wes Ferrell and yes…Jimmy Foxx, thus brought respect back to BoSox Baseball. Tom Yawkey laid the ground work toward correcting the wrongs of Harry Frazee. It wasn’t so much the curse of the Bambino. It was indeed instead the curse of Broadway Harry.
In 1939, arguably the greatest Baseball player in the history of the game comes to town, and you learn from your mistakes. The “Ted Sox era” is born, and in all of its glory, Ted Williams signs from the minor league Padres. An interesting point of fact, the Right field Bullpens are widely held to be designed for “Teddy BallGame’s” swing. Prior to Ted Williams’ emergence upon the scene, the distance to Right Center was 400 feet, thus the term “Williamsburg” was born. Yet, the lack of a championship eluded the Boston faithful throughout the “Ted Sox” era which ended at the end of the 1960 season.
On Deck ,The Yaz years…