For the first time in professional sports history, a team came back from a 0-3 deficit to tie a seven-game series and force a Game 7. Unfortunately, the team to do so was the Boston Red Sox in their American League Championship Series with the New York Yankees.
Allow me to explain. The Sox have never quite been able to get it done against the Yankees or any other team when it was all on the line since 1918.
The Red Sox won their fifth World Series that year, the most by any club at that time. One of the stars of the Boston championship franchise was a young pitcher by the name of George Herman Ruth, also known as The Bambino.
In 1920, however, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee needed money to finance his girlfriend’s play, so he sold Babe Ruth’s contract to Colonel Jacob Ruppert’s New York Yankees for $100,000 (plus a loan collateralized by Fenway Park). Since then, the Yankees, who had never won a World Championship before acquiring Ruth, have gone on to win 26, and are arguably one of the greatest success stories in the history of sport.
Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox have appeared in only four World Series since 1918, losing each one in Game 7. Many attribute Boston’s failure after the departure of Babe Ruth to “The Curse of the Bambino.”
Over the years, the Red Sox have compiled one of the most infamous stories of defeat, near miss, and utter collapse that the world of sports has ever known.
Which brings us up to the present. After forcing a deciding Game 7 in unprecedented fashion, the Yanks were stunned. Three outs away from sweeping the Sox, New York let them push their way back into the series. “This Sox,” blared one New York tabloid earlier in the week. “Put Him In,” said another, next to a picture of Babe Ruth.
Still, the Yankees had won a Game 7 against the Sox just a year earlier at Yankee Stadium. This time around, they had enough talent, they figured, to put down the pesky Sox. And not only didn they have history on their side, but they the Curse.
But Kevin Brown, their Game 7 starter, was a question mark. Bothered by all sorts of ailments all season long, Brown had been the starting pitcher in Game 3, but lasted only two innings in that win.
Because of a rainout in Boston, the two teams were playing for a fifth straight day, and three of those games were marathons. The nine innings of Game 3 lasted more than four hours, and the extra-innings of Games 4 and 5 both lasted more than five hours. Both teams were exhausted.
The difference turned out to be the hapless Brown, who broke his left hand last month in a moment of anger attacking a wall, sidelining him for several starts. Brown, who had come to the Yanks in a trade for Jeff Weaver, lasted only 1 1/3 innings in Game 7, giving up five runs on five hits.
Brown left in the second after walking the ninth hitter, Orlando Cabrera, to load the bases. Reliever Javier Vazquez, another one of the Yankees big-name, big-money additions, stepped in to face lead-off man Johnny Damon, who was hitting .103 in the series.
Damon turned on the first pitch, hitting it into the right-field stands for a grand slam.
The Sox romped, 10-3, completing the biggest comeback in postseason history, and sending the Sox to the World Series for the fifth time since 1918.
End of curse.
The worst is over. With the momentum of that Game 7 victory, there is no way the Cardinals have what it takes to derail this fate-train.
|For the fans that would like to take a trip to one of the World Series games between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, here are some prices…
A package for Games 3 and 4 in Boston includes: two nights accommodations at the Millennium Hotel St. Louis, reserved outfield tickets to Games 3 and 4, a roundtrip flight from Boston to St. Louis, roundtrip airport transfers, a hospitality tour desk at the hotel, and all taxes and service charges are included.
All that for a measly $2,535 per person. You save $200 apiece if you take 4 people.
WORLD SERIES Schedule
Saturday, Oct. 23
Sunday, Oct. 24
Tuesday, Oct. 26
Wednesday, Oct. 27
Thursday, Oct. 28
Saturday, Oct. 30
Sunday, Oct. 31