Photo of the Day: Ruth’s New Contract

The stock market had crashed several months earlier and the country was in a world of hurt when the Yankees arrived for spring training in 1930.  They had more problems than wondering how the economic conditions would affect ticket sales, though.

The Babe wasn’t happy.

He’d put in more than 10 years in Yankee pinstripes, ushering in record attendance in the team’s still new palace but owner Jacob Ruppert didn’t think Ruth was worthy of the six figure salary he was requesting.  Negotiations dragged on.

New manager Bob Shawkey, who had gotten the job despite Babe’s interest, needed his big slugger in a good frame of mind to try and win back the pennant from the Philadelphia A’s.

Babe Ruth Lou Gehrig spring 1930

Finally, in April, Ruppert made his way to St. Petersburg and joined Ruth, Shawkey and Lou Gehrig for a picture after Ruth put his name on a two-year $80,000 per season pact.  It’s our Photo of the Day from RMY Auctions.

When reporters asked what he thought about making $5,000 more per year than President Hoover, Ruth famously responded “I had a better year than he did.”

The 6×8” image includes a caption on back from International Newsreels.

Although the Yankees again fell short of the A’s, who would win the second of three straight American League pennants, 1930 was a memorable year for The Big Bam.  He hit .359 with 49 homers and 153 RBI.  With the pennant race decided in late September, Ruth pitched for the first time in years, hurling a complete game.

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