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    Description

    1915-22 New York Giants, Yankees Polo Grounds Lease Archives. Between the New York Highlanders departure from Hilltop Park at the close of 1913 (whereupon the club changed its name officially to the New York Yankees), and the team's departure for the Bronx in 1923, the New York Americans bunked with the National League Giants at Manhattan's Polo Grounds. It began as an amicable relationship, due largely to the fact that Matty and McGraw's team was far superior to Frank Chance's ragtag crew. The relationship quickly soured however, as Yankee team owner Jacob Ruppert and American League president Ban Johnson grew annoyed with the Giants' refusal to sign a long-term lease, leaving the American League ball club in fear of eviction at the close of each season. Matters only grew worse when the arrival of Babe Ruth suddenly turned the tables, and the Yankees began to outdraw the Giants at the ticket kiosks. Then came a face-off in the 1921 World Series, and the bitterness grew. In fact, the positioning of the gorgeous new Yankee Stadium just several hundred yards across the river from the Polo Grounds was a calculated move on Ruppert's part to rub the Giants' noses in the Yankees success. And after two consecutive Series defeats at the Polo Grounds, the Yankees' new home was christened in 1923 with a pinstriped victory.

    Forty-two documents in all comprise this compelling archive, as follows: 1) Four letters signed by Ban Johnson. Signatures range from 6/10 to 9/10, with three of the four at the high end of that scale. 2) Five telegrams. 3) 1921 wire photograph of Jacob Ruppert laying claim to the Bronx land that would come to hold Yankee Stadium. 4) Two copies of the 1915 Polo Grounds lease, one signed by Ruppert and both by Yankee co-owner Tillinghast Huston. Signatures rate 8/10 to 9/10. 5) Two copies of the 1916 lease (each unsigned) and other addendums and such related to the lease agreements. Also present in the archive, and deriving from the estate of Hall of Fame Yankee executive Ed Barrow are: 1) An envelope, a 1916 International League financial statement, and a letter to club owners dated 1911, all related to Barrow's presidency of the International League. The letter has an attached financial statement signed by Barrow (9/10). 2) List of players purchased from the Federal League by the Yankees, listing salaries and contract issues. Three pages. 3) Copy of the 1911 lease between the Giants and Harriet Coogan for the land where the Polo Grounds was built. 4) 1914 letter and telegram from Huston to John Bruce regarding future purchase of Yankees by Ruppert and Huston. Many documents listed are unsigned file copies. Condition is strong and solid, with no serious condition issues to note. Of tremendous value to a serious baseball historian, this archive offers a rare inside look at the business of running the New York Yankees of old.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2005
    29th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 668

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