Years before Babe Ruth became a legend in New York he was playing for the Boston Red Sox. He was still a young man, earning his nickname the Bambino, but already he was a big player for Boston.
After he left, the Red Sox could not find success and the most barren period in their history became known as the Curse of the Bambino. Eventually, the curse was lifted, and here’s how the Boston team finally found success again.
The iconic pitcher and slugger was a fan-favorite at Boston. He joined them in 1914 at the age of 19 and established himself as a key member of the team. Ruth became known as a slugger during his time with the Yankees, but in Boston, he was originally a pitcher.
He won the World Series three times with the Red Sox and seemed to be a part of a dynasty. Following the breakout of World War I, the Red Sox had many players drafted to the Army, including their manager. A replacement was brought in, and Ruth saw this as an opportunity to find another place on the field.
He asked his new manager, Ed Barrow, to play him in a position that got to play every day. Eventually, Ruth was given a chance as a hitter, and he made four consecutive home runs in four games.
Despite his importance to the team, Ruth was sold to the Yankees in 1920. It was rumored that the team’s owner wanted to sell Ruth so he could fund a Broadway show. Ruth went over to the Yankees and helped them win their first ever World Series in 1923, before winning another three with New York.
Boston were shaping up to be one of the most dominant teams in the country, even after losing their players to the war, but after losing Ruth, their fortunes changed. 1918 was the last time the Red Sox won a World Series for a very long time, 86 years in fact. People started to notice that something was wrong with Boston.
They just could not win a World Series and that’s when ‘the Curse of the Bambino’ began.
Worst moments during the curse
Boston couldn’t get their hands on the World Series, and every time they got close they would fall at the last hurdle. It took them almost 30 years to make it to the World Series after Ruth, and they lost in the seventh game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
More barren years followed, and Boston had to wait until 1967 to make another World Series appearance. By this point, the New York Yankees had become one of the most dominant teams in the country, and Red Sox fans could only look on with envy. The 1967 World Series ended in defeat for Boston.
In another World Series in 1975, they were doing things the hard way, and it went to a seventh game, this time the Red Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds. The Red Sox then were within one strike of winning the World Series in 1986. They were leading the New York Mets 3-2 in the series and just had to see the game out.
Instead, the Mets managed to score three runs, tied the series up before taking the final game of the series to continue the curse.
Finally lifting it
In 2004 the Red Sox once again found themselves at another World Series. Fans can’t have been too optimistic their team would win, give their history, and even at 3-0 up in the series they knew they could still implode. The Red Sox completed the clean sweep against the Cardinals, putting to rest the curse that their fans had been living with for 86 years.
Their name was finally on the trophy once again, and since lifting the curse, they have won the World Series another two times. It seems they have finally put the Curse of the Bambino behind them.
Attempts to lift the curse
Boston fans, and the team, did just about everything they could to lift the curse. At one stage they even hired professional witches to come to Fenway Park to make it go away. The team brought out Ruth’s daughter in 1999 to throw the first pitch, but that didn’t lift it, nor did placing a Red Sox cap at the top of Mt. Everest in 2001.
The Red Sox team visited a pond in 2002 after they believed retrieving a piano that had allegedly been pushed into the water by Ruth could lift the curse. Fans and players believed if the piano was recovered in its original condition, they would raise the curse.
A boy in 2004 was sitting in Fenway Park when the ball flew up and hit him in the face, knocking two of his teeth out. The boy lived in Sudbury Farm, where Ruth once lived, and fans believe this was the event that finally allowed them to win another World Series.
Selling your best player is never a good strategy in sports, but for the Red Sox, it couldn’t have gone much worse. Through almost 100 years of suffering Red Sox fans were finally able to celebrate winning the World Series once again as they kissed goodbye to the Curse of the Bambino.