Christmas lasted an extra day for the Yankees in 1919.
On Dec. 26 of that year, the Bombers bought Babe Ruth's contract from the Red Sox for $100,000, a transaction that, like Ruth himself, has gained legendary status.
The deal, perhaps the most lopsided in sports history, saw the best player in baseball at the time (and arguably ever) on a successful franchise go to a club that hadn't yet won a title.
Red Sox owner Harry Frazee struck the deal after growing unhappy with the Babe for a host of reasons. On the field and much to Frazee's chagrin, Ruth, a star pitcher, was realizing his potential as a home run hitter during a dead-ball era, belting a record 29 homers in 1919. Boston was reluctant to take Ruth off the mound, which he answered with protest and demands for more money.
Frazee also disliked Ruth's lifestyle away from the diamond, which was replete with heavy drinking, eating, gambling and womanizing. Many have speculated that Frazee used Ruth's sale to help fund his struggling theater business, but Frazee was also faced with debt from Fenway Park's poor attendance, and said at the time that Ruth was "more spectacular than useful."
Frazee sold Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert the rights to Ruth for $100,000 (roughly $1.3 million in 2018 dollars), paid in installments. The Sox owner also received a $300,000 loan from the Yankees to complete the deal. Incredibly, the loan briefly gave the Yankees a mortgage on Fenway Park.
Frazee eventually sold the team in 1923, the same year Ruth led the Yankees to their first World Series title. The Curse of the Bambino went on to haunt the Red Sox for another 81 years until the team finally broke it in 2004.