Thus arose the famous Curse of the Bambino

Several examples of what is known as a “curse of a deal” can be found in various Christian and Hebrew texts, where the one who did not keep a promise or a covenant would fall under a spell.

This brings us to the story of the “Curse of the Bambino.”

On December 26, 1919 (exactly 102 years ago), the Red Sox made the controversial and eventually regrettable decision to send Babe Ruth, known as the “Bambino” – one of the most recognized figures in American sports and culture – to the Yankees.

For the whole of Boston, several gloomy years followed the transaction.

Before then, the Patirrojos had won five of the first 15 World Series in Major League history, with Ruth making up three of those champion teams. Ruth, who was a prominent pitcher and at times slugger, scored victory in two of the six games in the 1918 Fall Classic, which gave him the confidence to show up late to Spring Training the following year and demand that the owner of Red Sox Harry Frazee, a big increase on his contract.

After Ruth negotiated a three-year, $ 27,000 contract, Boston finished sixth in the American League in the 1919 season. Ruth, keenly aware of his popularity in baseball, wanted to renegotiate his deal anyway. He was looking for double his salary.

Frazee – a producer and theater director, who had suspiciously moved from New York to Boston – was already in debt after purchasing the equipment and needed money to invest in a play. Faced with these economic pressures, Frazze agreed to sell Ruth’s rights to the Yankees – who had not qualified for a World Series at the time – for $ 100,000, which was an astronomical amount at the time.

It was then that the fortunes of both squads took dramatic turns.

As the Bombers turned out to clinch the title with Ruth – now a full-time slugger – on their roster and 22 other championships before the close of the 20th century, the Patirrojos fell into an abyss of frustrating – and even mysterious – end. In 84 seasons after the sale of Ruth, the Red Sox advanced to the World Series just four times (1946, 1967, 1975, 1986), falling in seven games in each of those series. When a ball passed between the legs of first baseman Bill Buckner in one of the most crucial fielding errors cost them in Game 6 of the World Series against the Mets (that’s right, another New York club), the supposed supernatural powers of the Ruth’s sale were formally called the “Curse of the Bambino.”

Redhead fans tried to erase the spell in various ways, trying to extract a piano that Ruth had allegedly dumped in a pond near Boston after a party in 1918, and even performing an exorcism outside Fenway Park.

But only results on the ground could break the spell, and that’s what finally happened in 2004, when the Red Sox faced the Yankees – the enemy that had separated them from success for so many years – in the Series. Championship of the American League, for the pass to the World Series. Boston had fallen 3-0 in that series, then became the first team in history to erase that kind of disadvantage.

When the Patirrojos completed their sweep over the Cardinals to secure their first title in 86 years, the player who became the last out of the Fall Classic – Colombian shortstop Edgar Renteria – was wearing No. 3. The one Ruth also wore. .

For Bostonians who had suffered for so many years, that was no coincidence. It could have been sent by a divine being – or a Bambino.


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Thus arose the famous Curse of the Bambino