Archive of Documents Related to the Sale of the Yankees to CBS
Letters and other documents (some duplicates and photocopies) related to the transfer of ownership of the Yankees from Daniel R. Topping and Del Webb to CBS.
-CBS press release on the company’s purchase of the Yankees from Vice President E. K. Meade, Jr. with photocopies of a letter from Dan Topping, the contract, an article in The Wall Street Journal (three) and three clippings from the New York World-Telegram, 11 pp, various sizes, August 14, 1964, some discoloring and metal paper clip rust stains;
-CBS Annual Report 1965
-2 CBS in-house newsletters about the Yankees purchase, 1965-66
-New York Yankees press release on Dan Topping’s resignation (both in draft with his pencil revisions and final form), 3 pp, September 19, 1966, folds; and a file of Press clippings about the CBS purchase, 1964-66.
From Dan Topping’s personal files, this archive records the events of the sale of the Yankee franchise to a broadcaster, CBS, at the time viewed with some horror by die-hard Yankee fans. On November 2, 1964, CBS purchased 80% of the Yankees from Topping and Del Webb for $11,200,000.00. Topping agreed to stay on as Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for at least five more years. He addresses the Yankee employees in an open letter: “On behalf of Del Webb and myself, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you personally for your loyal and devoted service to the Yankees. I feel sure that our future is even brighter than our past and I hope you will join with me in an even greater effort to keep the Yankees champions … on and off the field.”
Just two years later he left the company when the network bought the remaining 20%. 1965 had not been a great year for the team: their first losing season in 40 years. The 1966 season was even worse: the first time they had ended up in last place since 1912. Attendance at Yankee Stadium was also at a new low. It was a good time to retire. The team never went to the World Series during the CBS years. The Yankees did not regain their dominance of the game until the mid 1970s after George Steinbrenner and Associates bought the team from CBS and made Billy Martin manager. By contrast, during the 20 years that Topping and Webb owned the Yankees, they missed reaching the World Series only five times and won ten World Championships.
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