There is no curse. Babe Ruth never placed any curse on the Red Sox, never had any hard feelings after being sold, and after retiring from baseball, rooted for the Red Sox to win it all. For the record, the curse was invented in 1986 by New York Times sportswriter George Vescey, and perpetuated by pessimistic Red Sox fans to explain why they hadn't won a World Series, and by Boston sportwriters like Dan Shaughnessy, who like to publish bad books to make money.

Should you choose to read Shaughnessy's book (which has the same title as this node), you should understand that what you are reading is a work of fiction, not just in the sense of the curse, but in the sense that he simply made up a bunch of stuff that never happened to make his book more interesting. Sox owner Harry Frazee didn't sell Babe Ruth to the Yankees to finance a play. Ruth was sold off because he had become the most selfish and tyrannical player on the roster. And why to the Yankees? Because the rest of the owners in the American League refused to do business with Frazee, in part because they considered ownership their league a sort of "gentleman's club" to which Frazee wasn't invited, and in part because they thought he was Jewish. The source material for Shaughnessy's book came from a resource that was decidely anti-Semitic. The amusing thing is that Harry Frazee was a Presbyterian.

There are several other much better reasons as to why the Red Sox hadn't won a World Series since 1918....

The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908, and yet no one talks about a curse. The Red Sox haven't lost 90 games in a season since 1966, the longest streak in baseball, and yet everyone continues to talk about a curse.

Repeat after me: There is no curse... There is no curse... There is no curse...

† *sigh* I had hoped that I wouldn't have to add an addendum to this, but unfortunately I do. The Cubs have their own curse, but having talked to numerous Cubs fans, it's nowhere near as ingrained into the folklore as the Bambino is. It's much more akin to the black cat than ran out onto the field at Shea in 1969, but for the sake of those folks who won't leave me alone until I put it here, yeah, the Cubs have a curse.

Or it could just be that the Cubs have a history of not being very good.

Added, unfortunately, October 28, 2004, and my apologies if this is "highly subjective", but there it is.

Stop, stop, stop, please for the sweet love of Christ (or Johnny Damon) stop talking about this bullshit curse. Stop professing some poetic horseshit about ghosts and curses and days of yore. You are no longer in the fifth grade. Santa Claus, the Toothfairy, and the Curse of the Bambino are not real. Destiny and Mystique are dancers at a strip club, and a curse is just a convenient excuse used to explain why, once again, the Sox didn't win.

Red Sox fans aren't like human beings in The Matrix... we don't define ourselves through suffering and misery. We only want what every other sports fan wants: we want our team to win. And if you find that Sox fans are insular and territorial, it shouldn't be difficult to understand why... we are painted that way by everyone who ever speaks about the Red Sox and everyone who ever puts pen to paper to write about the "Olde Town Team". There wasn't any lost sleep, no shadows at Fenway Park, no "sports bar toast" (whatever that is). Do you know what the overwhelming sentiment was today in Boston?

"Wow, this is awesome, parade on Saturday, hope it doesn't rain, and what are you doing for the Pats game on Sunday?"

Did this championship have a profound impact on the region? No doubt. Were there were people who created havoc and mayhem in the streets of the city? Yes, mostly drunk kids. Where there grown men crying and hugging across New England? Yes, mostly folks who take sports far too seriously. Are Sox fans going to savor this victory for years to come? Absolutely. But do you know what the best part about this is?

Not having to hear about this curse bullshit any longer. It's no longer the story (of course, it never should have been, but that's immaterial). No more interviews with eighty-year-old Citizen's Bank Not-Your-Average Fans of the Game who drive down once a year from Dixville Notch to watch the Sox and speak incoherently about the time back in 1964 when they met Bill Monbouquette. No more shots of sad toddlers in the crowd, with Tim McCarver in a not-so-poignant voiceover explaining the tortured life of a cursed fan. No more fans in random cities chanting 1918 and wearing Babe Ruth masks (and seeing that in St. Louis was about as patently stupid as Red Sox fans chanting Yankees Suck during a Royals game) Above all, we'd just like to be left alone.

You can stop talking about the curse now. Thank you, drive through.

After eighty-six years of abject misery, the curse has been reversed. The Bambino's winking smile can stop haunting the sleep of every long suffering Red Sox fan, his shadow can cease haunting Fenway Park and Here's to hoping can cease to be the autumnal toast of every sports bar in New England, for tonight, the evening of October 27th, 2004, the Sox completed an authoritative four game sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium to win the World Series.

Many declared the curse reversed when the Sox beat the New York Yankees for the American League pennant in an unprecedented and historic comeback after being three games in the hole. Real fans knew that no matter how hated the evil empire was, the real curse crushing trophy was the championship.

Tomorrow Boston will wake up transformed. No longer the perennial loser, no longer the ultimate pessimist, but also perhaps adrift, no longer defined by failure and heartbreak. But maybe this is only a cruel joke, maybe the curse the Bambino intended was that Boston would savor triumph, but only once every three generations.

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