Ruppert, Kenesaw Mountain Landis [Commissioner of Baseball], Harry Frazee [Red Sox owner] at the opening of Yankee Stadium in 1923 (Library of Congress)
On this day 98 years ago Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L’Hommedieu Huston purchased the New York Yankees for $480,000 (the equivalent of over $11 million in today’s money). They bought the club from Frank Farrell and Bill Devery who had acquired the defunct Baltimore Orioles franchise in 1903 for $18,000. A wedge had been driven between Farrell and Devery and, with both desperately in need of money, they let go of the team they had inaugurated as the New York Highlanders. In 1922 Huston sold his share of the team to Ruppert for $1.5 million, vacating his share of the team on the cusp of their ascension to the heights of baseball glory.
During Ruppert’s 24-year ownership, the Yankees went from being a 69-83 team in 1915 to one of the most successful teams in professional sports history. Under the Colonel’s leadership the Yanks acquired Babe Ruth, built Yankee Stadium, won 10 pennants, and were crowned World Champions 7 times.