Baseball Personalities - Jacob Ruppert
Photo Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Jacob Ruppert bought the New York Yankees in early 1915, along with Til Huston; each owned 50% of the team until Ruppert bought him out in 1922. The Yankee owners took risks to build a winner: they took on American League President Ban Johnson in 1919 in order to secure star pitcher Carl Mays, they bought Babe Ruth for $100,000 at the end of that year, and invested in a new ballpark in 1922 (Yankee stadium opened in 1923.)
To Ruppert’s credit, he did not pay himself dividends from his baseball team and instead plowed all the profits of the Yankees back into the franchise. This is all the more remarkable because Ruppert’s primary source of income (other than the Yankees) was his brewery, and Prohibition really shut that business down for more than a decade, starting in 1920.
Ruppert is shown here at the Yankees’ home opener in April 1915, shortly after he and Huston bought the club. Mayor John Puroy Mitchel (“the Boy Mayor”) is about to throw out the ceremonial first ball.