We continue our holiday week series today, with Yankees history factoids from December 29th. Today, we discuss the ever-wielding power of New York Yankees’ owner Colonel Jacob Ruppert, along with how differently minority members of the media were treated not too long ago. Enjoy!
The “Sultan of Swat” had made it known for quite awhile that he desired to become a big league manager at the conclusion of his playing career. Ideally, Babe Ruth would’ve loved none other than to take over his beloved Bronx Bombers, but Col. Ruppert had other ideas. Ruppert believed that a man that couldn’t take care of himself certainly couldn’t manage and handle a roster full of players. It was on this day, back in 1933, where the Babe was given an opportunity to take over as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
There was only one hangup to that happening however. Ruth was still under contract to play for Ruppert’s Yankees. The Colonel felt that Ruth was still a valuable asset to his team, while not the hitter he once was, he was good for the gate. Ruppert refused to grant Ruth his requested release after Ruth hit .301 with 34 home runs and 103 runs batted in. Ruth would never get the opportunity to manage at the major league level.
In one of the very first discrimination lawsuits, it was on this day back in 1977 that Sports Illustrated writer Melissa Ludtke filed suit against both the Yankees and New York City for denying her access to the Yankees’ clubhouse to cover the team during the previous October’s World Series.
We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s “This Date in Yankees History”, and be sure to join us for the final two days of Yankees history for 2013!