Boston, MA (PressExposure) June 22, 2009 -- The Green Monster. If you say that phrase to any MLB fan they will respond with one thing, the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox may play in Boston but they truly are New England's team. The Red Sox represent roughly six states, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Eastern Connecticut. The large area fan base gives the Red Sox a very unique following since their reach covers an entire region of the United States. Up until recently, these fans were among the ones that suffered the most heartache over the years until 2004 when they broke an 86 year drought and won the World Series.
The Curse of the Bambino as most people around the baseball world refer to it, traces back to 1918, when a young owner of the Boston Red Sox sold the rights to Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in order to finance a play and the Red Sox did not win a championship for 86 years, whereas the rival Yankees who acquired Ruth would win 26 in that time span. It was not just that the Red Sox lost it was the way that they lost, in such horrific fashions that any normal person should not have to experience in their lifetime.
The curse began to get some real national notoriety in 1978, when the Yankees who were behind the Red Sox in the standings by a wide margin in September, ended up closing a 14 game deficit in a month's time to catch the Red Sox and force a one-game playoff. The Red Sox had a comfortable lead and looked to have avoided disaster until the Yankees sent utility infielder Bucky Dent to the plate. Dent, who had very minimal power and a low average, was able to hit a homerun over the left field wall and the Yankees took the lead and won the game. Red Sox fans were crushed and it seemed the team was in fact cursed. This was as bad as it could get, right?
Red Sox wanted to believe so, but it was to get worse, much worse in 1986. The Red Sox were playing the New York Mets in the World Series and were one strike away from winning their first World Series since 1918, but that is when the wheels fell off. The Mets were able to start a two-out rally, getting back to back singles, followed by numerous wild pitches and were able to tie the game up, but what would happen next was truly surreal. The Mets hit a lazy ground ball to first basemen Bill Buckner, who was known for his defensive skill, and the ball went in between his legs allowing the Mets to score the winning run in Game 6 and they would go on to win Game 7 and deny the Red Sox their place as World Champions.
In 2003, The Boston Red Sox played The New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series and had a commanding lead in the 8th inning, leading by three runs. However, the Curse of the Bambino was awaken and the Yankees were able to score three runs in the eighth and eventually sent the game to extra innings, where in the first pitch the Yankees saw in the Bottom of 10th was sent well into the left field stands and the Yankees were going to the World Series and Red Sox fans were once again sick to their stomachs.
The Red Sox were finally able to break the drought and win a championship; however, many of the fans that suffered through the hardest times of the 86 years were never able to see their team win the big one. The Red Sox have made a new generation of fans forget about the curse and have established themselves as one of the best teams in all of MLB.