Laying the Curse to Rest; Red Sox Are So Close to Ending the Babe's Jinx

The Evening Standard (London, England), October 27, 2004 | Go to article overview

Laying the Curse to Rest; Red Sox Are So Close to Ending the Babe's Jinx


Byline: DAVID SMITH

THE Boston Red Sox will tonight seek to reverse "The Curse" by clinching baseball's 100th World Series.

The Sox go into the fourth game of the best-of-seven championship having extended their lead over the St Louis Cardinals to 3-0 with an easy win in the early hours of today.

One day after his 33rd birthday, Pedro Martinez pitched seven shutout innings and Manny Ramirez hit a home run as the Boston club, playing away at Busch Stadium, silenced 52,000 Cardinal fans with a 4-1 victory.

The momentum is with the Red Sox, who have now won seven successive games after being 3-0 down against the mighty New York Yankees in last week's American League Championship playoff.

Another win at Busch tonight will seal the club's first World Series since 1918, when the side featuring the legendary Babe "Bambino" Ruth claimed a fifth championship in 13 years.

But the glory days ended just as the First World War was coming to a close.

Red Sox owner Harry Frazee ran into financial trouble and in 1920 he sold Ruth to arch-rivals the Yankees for the equivalent of [pounds sterling]55,000 in cash and a loan worth [pounds sterling]166,000.

It proved to be one of the most illjudged deals in sporting history.

Ruth hit 54 home runs in his first season wearing the pinstripe uniform of the Yankees, and the team from the Big Apple have since won 26 World Series titles.

Boston? In the wake of Ruth's transfer they have made the playoffs on four occasions before this season's climax, but lost each time in game seven.

Now, after 86 years of frustration, the Red Sox are closer than ever to lifting the so-called "Curse of the Bambino", named after the book of that title penned by acclaimed Boston sports writer Dan Shaughnessy.

And victory will never have tasted sweeter. …

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