This story is about endless problems and assaults against the Yankee franchise between 1919 and 1923. It involves bookmakers, racetrack owners, bootleggers, gamblers, shakedown artist, promoters, murderers, those with political clout and simply an over supply of corrupt underhanded individuals. They would and could muscle anyone that was a threat or hadn’t earned the right to succeed. Some of the same individuals that frustrated the Yankee club were also actively involved in planning and or covering up the 1919 World Series Black Sox Scandal.
A brief introduction is offered that details the assault that occur against the Baltimore Orioles that all but destroyed the club and lead to American League President Ban Johnson, moving the franchise to Manhattan. Unknowingly, Johnson would find those that worked against him in Baltimore were waiting for his every move in New York. Ultimately he would be duped into selling the club to the worst two characters that New York had to offer.
Colonels Jacob Ruppert and Til L. Huston would buy the franchise in 1915 before the previous owners had all but destroyed it. As a result of a single player trade in 1919, the Yankee club owners would find themselves thrown into four years of continuous fighting to assure their franchise survival.
Attacks against the baseball franchise would lead to, battles in the courts, a split with the American League owners creating two camps, many delays and unnecessary financial hardships. During this same time, the club had to deal with building a stadium under adverse conditions, contending with labors strikes, 1919 fan outrage, political under-handedness and baseball governance, back room dealings.
The reader will also be exposed to the most detailed account of the building of Yankee Stadium ever written from heated memos and cost over runs, to the make and models of the trucks used to carry materials. All problems/issues are presented, discussed and responsibility assigned.
Four years of constant turmoil. It would take one “bigger than life player” to counter all these negative forces and save the franchise. That player was Babe Ruth. If you didn’t appreciate the Babe and what he did for baseball and the New York Yankees before, you will after reading this book. All was made possible by the Babe.