On March 16, 1932, Babe Ruth signed a deal for $75,000, a five-thousand dollar pay cut from the previous season and 25 percent of the Yankees net receipts from exhibition games. The pay cut came in large part as a result of the Great Depression. Legend has it the Bambino signed a blank contract, with the amount filled in later by Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert.
Babe Ruth signed his 1933 contract with the Yankees on March 24th of that year. In the face of the Great Depression, Ruth found himself forced to take quite a pay cut from his previous year’s salary of $75,000.
Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert had initially proposed a $25,000 cut down to $50,000 for the year, which Ruth refused to signed. Nevertheless, the Babe reported to Spring Training hoping to work out a better deal for himself in the meantime.
Finally, however, Ruppert issued an ultimatum, telling Ruth that if he did not sign by March 29th, he would not be permitted to travel back north with the team. Ruth finally settled for a $52,000 contract, stating, “I expected a cut, but $25,000 is no cut, that’s an amputation.”
On March 2, 1927, the Yankees announced that Babe Ruth would earn $70,000 per season for the next three years, making him the highest paid player in major league history. The Bambino had asked for $100,000, but was negotiated down in a meeting with Colonel Jacob Ruppert, the club’s owner, at the Ruppert Brewery in Manhattan.