Andrew Freedman

Andrew Freedman (September 1, 1860 – December 4, 1915) was an American businessman who is primarily remembered as the owner of the New York Giants professional baseball team of the National League from 1895 to 1902. He also briefly owned the Baltimore Orioles of the American League in 1902; the franchise would later relocate, and became the New York Yankees. Freedman was also a director of various companies, including the Interborough Rapid Transit Company and the Wright Company. He was born and died in New York City.

Andrew Freedman
Andrew freedman3.jpg.png
Born(1860-09-01)September 1, 1860
DiedDecember 4, 1915(1915-12-04) (aged 55)
New York City


Andrew Freedman was born in New York City on September 1, 1860; his family were middle-class German-Jewish immigrants.[1] He attended Grammar School No. 35, a public school in Lower Manhattan,[2] and City College of New York.[3]


In 1895, Freedman became the principal owner of the New York Giants of the National League (NL), purchasing a controlling interest in the club from Cornelius C. Van Cott for approximately $53,000 ($1,628,796 in current dollar terms).[4] During his ownership of the team, Freedman drew the ire of many of his players for various fines and abuses. In one incident, star pitcher Amos Rusie sat out the entire 1896 season during a feud with Freedman.[5][6] NL presidential candidate Al Spalding called Freedman an "impossibility in baseball",[7] demanding that Freedman retire from the game.[8][9] Freedman refused.[10]

With the financial backing of John T. Brush, principal owner of the Cincinnati Reds, Freedman purchased controlling interest in the Baltimore Orioles of the rival American League (AL) on July 17, 1902.[11] The Orioles were in significant debt, reportedly owing $12,000 ($354,600 in current dollar terms).[11][12] As a result, part-owner and team president John Mahon purchased shares in the team from players John McGraw, Joe Kelley, and Wilbert Robinson, becoming principal shareholder of the Orioles.[11] Mahon, with the controlling interest in the Orioles, comprising 201 of the team's 400 total shares,[13] sold his shares to Freedman.[11] Upon taking control of the franchise, Freedman released the Orioles' best players from their contracts so that they could be signed by NL teams: Kelley and Cy Seymour signed with the Reds, while Joe McGinnity, John McGraw, Roger Bresnahan, Dan McGann, and Jack Cronin signed with the Giants.[14][15] American League president Ban Johnson, along with minority owners of the Orioles, took control of the Orioles franchise, which had to forfeit their game that day as they did not have enough players.[11][16][17] The Orioles relocated to New York City in 1903 and were renamed the Highlanders; since 1913, the franchise has been the New York Yankees.

At the end of September 1902, Freedman sold the Giants to Brush.[18][19]

Other interestsEdit

Freedman took over the Manhattan Athletic Club, which fell into receivership in 1893, as its receiver.[20][21]

He was a director of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT).[22] He first became involved in IRT when John B. McDonald sought to include Freedman.[23] Freedman reported that he invested $1.7 million ($50,235,000 in current dollar terms) in the company in 1901 and 1902.[23] He also served on the board of directors of the Wright Company, established in 1909 to market the Wright brothers' airplanes in the United States.[24]

Freedman owned an ice yacht, named "Haze", which won a pennant race in North Shrewsbury, New Jersey.[25]

Death and estateEdit

Freedman died in New York City on December 4, 1915, following a nervous breakdown.[3] He was unmarried.[3] His estate was worth over $4 million ($101,092,105 in current dollar terms). Samuel Untermyer served as executor of the estate.[22][26]

In his will, Freedman bequeathed money to build the Andrew Freedman Home at 1125 Grand Concourse in The Bronx. The home was intended to serve as a retirement home.[26] Plans were filed in 1922 to build the home as a four-story brick building, with the cost of construction estimated at $500,000 ($7,637,177 in current dollar terms).[27] The building cost approximately $1 million ($14,918,447 in current dollar terms) and opened in 1924.[28] The Andrew Freedman Home was named a New York City Designated Landmark in 1992.[29]


  1. ^ Lamb, Bill (Fall 2009). "Andrew Freedman". SABR. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  2. ^ "Good Baseball Promised" (PDF). The New York Times. February 17, 1895. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Andrew Freedman Dies Suddenly in Room at Sherry's". The Evening World. New York City. December 4, 1915. p. 1. Retrieved August 22, 2020 – via
  4. ^ Mr. Freedman Now Controls – Has Acquired Majority of Stock of the New-York Baseball Club. – Article – (April 8, 2012). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  5. ^ Rusie'S Appeal Is Not Sustained. Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  6. ^ Rusie Case Is Ended At Last. Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  7. ^ Bridgeport Herald – Google News Archive Search
  8. ^ SPALDING PRESIDENT OF BASEBALL LEAGUE – He Declares that Freedman Must Retire from Baseball. – Article – (April 8, 2012). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  9. ^ Youngstown Vindicator – Google News Archive Search
  10. ^ Freedman Not Going Out – He Scorns to Take Seriously Spalding's Utterances to Retire. Hanlon to Manage New Yorks: He Agrees to Leave the Brooklyn Club for This City on a Two Ye. (April 8, 2012). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d e Keenan, Jimmy. "Joe Kelley". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  12. ^ The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search
  13. ^ LATEST BASEBALL DEAL – Freedman Practically Buys Baltimore American League Team. PLAYERS TO JOIN NEW YORKS Ban Johnson to Organize Another Club to Take Place of McGraw's Forme. (April 8, 2012). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  14. ^ Baltimore American - Google News Archive Search
  15. ^ Dewey, Donald; Acocella, Nicholas (2005). Total Ballclubs: The Ultimate Book of Baseball Teams. Sportclassic Books. p. 37. ISBN 1-894963-37-7.
  16. ^ "Freedman Buys Baltimore Club: President, Mahon Sells Out American Magnates to National League. Players Go To New York: Ban Johnson Organizing New Club to Retain Maryland City in Circuit. Johnson Discusses the Deal". Chicago Daily Tribune. July 17, 1902. p. 6. Retrieved March 22, 2012. (subscription required)
  17. ^ "Events of Thursday, July 17, 1902". Retrosheet. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  18. ^ FREEDMAN QUITS BASEBALL – Sells His Interest in the New York Club to John T. Brush. – Article – (April 8, 2012). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  19. ^ "Freedman Out of Baseball: Sells out to John T. Brush". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky. September 30, 1902. p. 7. Retrieved August 22, 2020 – via
  20. ^ MR. FREEDMAN A MAGNATE – Will Probably Own the New-York Baseball Club. NEGOTIATIONS NOW IN PROGRESS To Control the Majority of Stock and Personally Supervise the Management of. (April 8, 2012). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  21. ^ Will Not Close Its Doors. – Manhattan Athletic Club To Continue Under A Receiver. – Article – Nytimes.Com. (April 8, 2012). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  22. ^ a b THE MAYOR RETORTS – ASSAILS UNTERMYER – Hylan Calls Attorney a "Notorious Trust Organizer" and"Handy Man" of the Rich.BRAZEN, ARROGANT, HE SAYSCharges the "Traction Twins", Sa. The New York Times (November 1, 1921). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  23. ^ a b JUSTIFY BELMONT'S INTERBOROUGH FEE – Andrew Freedman and W.G. Oakland of 1902 Board Say It Was a Bargain for Company. – View Article – The New York Times (October 3, 1913). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  24. ^ "Big Men of Finance Back the Wrights", The New York Times, November 23, 1909 (April 8, 2012). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  25. ^ ICE YACHTS IN PENNANT RACE. – The Wizard Wins Shrewsbury Trophy – Andrew Freedman's Boat Gets First-Class Prize. – View Article – The New York Times (January 27, 1904). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  26. ^ a b UNTERMYER PASSES THE LIE TO HYLAN – Accuses Mayor of "More Falsehoods to the Square Inch" Than All Candidates in City's History. DEMANDS STAND ON TRANSIT Charges Hylan With Th. The New York Times (November 2, 1921). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  27. ^ File Plans for Andrew Freedman Home. – Article – (April 8, 2012). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  28. ^ DEDICATE A REFUGE FOR CULTURED POOR – Andrew Freedman Home, Which Cost $1,000,000, a New Idea in Philanthropy. AGED COUPLES NOT DIVIDED Are Maintained Together in Luxurious Su. (April 8, 2012). Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  29. ^ Neighborhood Preservation Center (pdf). (PDF) . Retrieved on April 19, 2012.

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