I narrated it as follows in 2017.
The New York Yankees have raised baseball to an unprecedented level of popularity. This achievement is the work of Jacob Ruppert, co-owner of the club from 1915 to 1923 and sole owner until his death in 1939. During his period the Yankees acquired the three most emblematic players of the inter-war period, Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio, and built the monumental Yankee Stadium for 58,000 seated spectators.
Ruppert, the heir of a successful brewery business, had an enormous investment power that he used wisely. His personal fortune inherited from his father in 1915 was $ 6.3M. His own estate in 1939 had grown to $ 40M. With his partner he spent in 1922 and 1923 more than $ 3M for the ground and the construction of the Stadium, before he purchased for $ 1.5M all the shares of his co-owner.
On a sporting level, the Yankees manager was Miller Huggins. The successes of Babe Ruth brought the player to a growing indiscipline that Huggins had managed to curb. It was not by chance that the contract signed in 1922 for 52,000 dollars per year was accompanied by a commitment from Ruth to drink less and to go to bed early. An original copy of the 1922 contract was sold for $ 550K including premium by Goldin on April 30, 2016.
The contracts were renegotiated at regular intervals. In January 1930 the club offered to the player a salary of 70,000 dollars for one year followed after a first reject by a second proposal at 75,000 dollars per year for two years. Ruth refuses also this second offer which corresponds to the annual salary of President Hoover. He asks for 85,000 dollars per year over three years, boasting that such a contract duration is shorter than the presidential term.
The contract between the Yankees and Ruth was finally signed on March 10, 1930 for 80,000 dollars per year over two years. Both sides were winners. With this small concession the Yankees got from the bulky Ruth that he renounced to succeed Huggins who had suddenly died a few months earlier.
This figure of 80,000 dollars per year over two years is the highest salary earned by Babe Ruth throughout his career and at that time an absolute record for a professional athlete. This record will be exceeded by the money received by DiMaggio in 1949 including bonuses.
SOLD for $ 244K including premium