January 11: ON THIS DAY in 1920, Babe Ruth was sold to the New York American League club
ON THIS DAY IN 1860, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “We learn with regret that the distinguished comedian, Wm. E. Burton, lies at his residence in Hudson Street, N.Y., in a condition so low that his physicians and his family have almost given up all hopes of his recovery. He passed a wretched night, and at 12 o’clock today was in the weakest possible state. With his loss, New York will lose one of its attractions. No one that visited the city could declare that he had seen all of it until he ‘saw Burton.’ And what latent homage to his talent the very phrase implies. To other theatres we went to see the play, to his we went to ‘see Burton,’ conscious of his power to entertain us, no matter what the play was or the part he was to take in it.” William Evans Burton died on Feb. 10, 1860. He was 55.
ON THIS DAY IN 1920, the Eagle reported, “The baseball world was amazed, and a bit puzzled, on Jan. 6, 1920, when it read that Harry Frazee, president of the Boston American League club, had sold [Babe] Ruth to the New York American League club for a sum which is now pretty generally agreed to have been $125,000 in a straight cash transaction. It was the highest price ever paid for a sunburned slave of the diamond. Major league franchises, with complete outfits in the way of players, have been sold for less than this one player brought. Whether the New York club made a good bargain by buying and whether Frazee was wise in selling such a notable performer for that price are questions which will have to await the actions of the fans next season. Perfectly good arguments, on their faces, can be advanced on either side when the questions are discussed in the Hot Stove League.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1942, the Eagle reported, “Fred C. Trump, outstanding borough home builder, announced yesterday sale of twenty-two homes in his latest development at Cropsey Ave. and 18th Ave., adjoining Bensonhurst City Park. The preview showing of these homes took place on Saturday, December 13, ‘only twelve days before Christmas and during the week of the Pearl Harbor attack and the three declarations of war,’ he said. ‘These twenty-two purchases, made under adverse conditions,’ asserted Mr. Trump, ‘are a tribute to the confidence of the American public in the future of our country. And these sales prove to me that neither holidays and winter, nor wartime conditions can stem the all-time record demand of recent months for new homes, that is until every available new home is taken. How many more new homes can be built until the emergency is past, no one knows. With price inflation here now and rents beginning to soar, present purchasers of homes on payments of less than $50 monthly may soon be the envy of renters paying $100 a month for similar quarters, with no more new homes to buy.”
ON THIS DAY IN 1952, the Eagle reported, “Falmouth, England, Jan. 11 (UP) — Capt. Henrik Kurt Carlsen, near tears, apologized to cheering thousands in this ancient seaport today for not bringing his doomed ship Flying Enterprise safely into port. The 37-year-old New Jersey skipper said the worst moment of his 13-day ordeal came yesterday when the Enterprise sank as he watched from the rescue tug Turmoil. Seven thousand persons — half the population of Falmouth — swarmed through driving sleet, rain and hail to give a hero’s welcome to the man whose valiant but futile battle to save his cracked and leaking freighter won the admiration of the world. Only 16 hours after they had leaped into the English Channel from the sinking Enterprise, Carlsen and his one-man crew — Kenneth Dancy, London-born tugboat mate — stepped ashore at Prince of Wales Pier.”
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