Col. Jacob Ruppert, Yankees Owner, in 1935

In late October, 1935, Jacob Ruppert, the owner of the Ruppert Brewery (read more about the man and brewery here) and the New York Yankees, went to a brewers’ convention in Los Angeles and talked with that city’s Times about the state of his baseball team after the 1935 season. The comments he issued show that George Steinbrenner wasn’t the first Yankees owner to try to run the team himself, and that apparently major league baseball had pretty lax rules about what could and couldn’t be said by team owners:

“If DiMaggio supplies the needed punch at the plate I don’t see how we can miss next year.”

Babe Ruth is “dead” as far as baseball and the Yankees are concerned.

“Get me a classy second-sacker and the sky’s the limit. [Tony] Lazzeri is all right, for that matter, but he’s getting a bit too old and he’s not as spry as he used to be. I’m contemplating two trades. I would like to get Outfielder Roger Cramer from the Athletics and Buddy Myer from Washington.” (Cramer, better known as Doc, went to the Red Sox instead, and second-sacker Myer stayed with the Senators. Lazzeri had a fine 1936 season, then was released after 1937.)

“We would have won the pennant last year [1935] if it hadn’t been for the trip to Japan that two of my star players, Lefty Gomez and Lou Gehrig, took just before the season opened. Lefty and Lou were tired and were not up to snuff. By the time they got going it was too late.”

Published in: on January 5, 2009 at 1:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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