What is the Curse of the Bambino?

L. S. Wynn

The 'Curse of the Bambino' refers to the drought of success that the Boston RedSox Baseball club has endured ever since Babe Ruth was traded. It all started in 1918 when the RedSox won their 5th World Series title - led by the great pitcher and batter, Babe Ruth (also known as "the Babe" or "the Bambino"). A couple of years later, the RedSox decided to sell the Bambino to the New York Yankees, who at the time had never won a championship.

Player trades are common in baseball.
Player trades are common in baseball.

Trades occur frequently in Baseball, but ever since the trade that began the 'Curse of the Bambino', the RedSox were not able to win a single championship, and the Yankees have won a staggering 26 World Series titles; in so doing, the Yankees have become one of the most successful teams in any sport.

Some Red Sox fans believe that Babe Ruth's ghost winked at Boston fans and decided they had suffered enough when they finally won the World Series in 2004.
Some Red Sox fans believe that Babe Ruth's ghost winked at Boston fans and decided they had suffered enough when they finally won the World Series in 2004.

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Its not that the RedSox fielded poor teams. In fact, the RedSox played in four Championships, but lost each of them in the seventh (and final) game of the series. Even more telling that some sort of 'curse' was at play was the way that they failed even when they had superior teams and excellent chances to win. Will the RedSox ever be able to overcome the 'Curse of the Bambino'? Perhaps someday...

27 October 2004 UPDATE: In an amazing turn of events the Curse of the Bambino has been lifted after 86 years! The Boston Red Sox have won the World Series in four games against the Saint Louis Cardinals, this season's winningest team. In a perfectly fitting twist, the first total lunar eclipse during any world series game presided over the ballpark. Some Red Sox fans will claim that the eclipse was a sign from the baseball gods that Boston had been approved to triumph. Other fans will say that Babe Ruth's ghost had winked at the BoSox, and decided that they had suffered enough through the years.

To fully appreciate the context of this event, it is critical to also consider the ALCS (American League Championship Series). Who did Boston match up with in pursuit of the pennant? None other than the Yankees - the very team who picked up Babe Ruth in 1918! To make it even more dramatic, the Red Sox were down three games to zero and for the first time in major league history, they came back to win a 7-game series with four straight victories!

When all was said and done, the curse didn't subside quietly; the Red Sox triumphed in all of the final 8 contests over the two teams with the best regular-season record in the major leagues. Needless to say, these events are a perfect end to one of the longest-standing curses in professional sports.

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