Today in Tribe History: November 21, 1949

The Cleveland Indians are sold by owner Bill Veeck for $2.2 million. The new ownership group is headed by Ellis Ryan.

Ryan appoints Hank Greenberg as the club’s general manager. Greenberg had worked in a variety of roles with the team the previous two seasons after hanging up his playing cleats. Rudie Schaffer will remain with the club as its business manager. George Medinger will act as the club’s vice president, with attorney Donald W. Hornbeck as secretary, Harry Small as treasurer, and Guy Waters as director of the Cleveland Baseball Corporation.

Ryan becomes the seventh president of the franchise in its 49 years in the American League.

Veeck, who had owned the club since purchasing it from Alva Bradley and associates (including John and Francis Sherwin) in 1946 for $1.25 million, needed to sell the club to pay for his expensive divorce from his first wife, Eleanor Raymond. The two had been wed in 1935. He would not be gone from the game of baseball for long, as he returned to ownership after marrying Mary Frances Ackerman and buying the St. Louis Browns from Bill and Charlie DeWitt.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. You really have to wonder how much Veeck’s divorce cost the Indians. Greenburg wanted to move the Indians in the late 50’s and so did the ownership but they could never get out of the lease at Municipal Stadium. Greenburg left but then they named Frank Lane to be GM and he was a disaster especially trading Rocky Colavito and Norm Cash to Detroit in the beginning of the 1960 season. He also traded Roger Maris. Then the ownership cut the minors down to three teams in 1961. I believe that they did it out of spite because they wanted to move the Indians to Minnesota and Griffith beat them in moving Washington there. I think it would have been totally different if Bill Veeck had not had to sell the team.

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