The Curse of the Bambino
In 1914 the Boston Red Sox bought Babe Ruth
from the Baltimore club, who were a minor league team during
this era, and immediately signed him for $3,500 a year, three
times the amount he was being paid. During the next 3-years
Ruth was the best left-hander in baseball. He chalked up 18
wins in 1915, 23 in 1916 and 24 in 1917. In all 3 of those
years opponents batted under .220 against him. In 1916 he
led the league with a 1.75 ERA and spun a league leading nine
shutouts. In 1917, Ruth was 24-13, completing 35 of the 38
games he started. He allowed only 244 hitters in 326 innings.
The 'Bambino' as Ruth was called, intimidated batters with
his imposing size, 6'2" 220lbs.
In the 1916 World Series against the Brooklyn
Dodgers, Ruth and Sherry Smith opposed each other in one of
the greatest pitching duels in history. The Dodgers scored
in the 1st inning, the Red Sox in the 3rd and the game was
still tied 1-1 until the last of the 14th when the Red Sox
scored and won. Both Ruth and Sherry Smith pitched the entire
game, which is still the longest World Series game ever played.
In the 1918 World Series vs the Chicago Cubs,
Babe Ruth hurled a 6-hit shutout in Game 1. In Game 4, the
Cubs scored their first run in the 8th inning to break Ruth's
record string of 29 1/3 scoreless innings. Ruth's mark stood
until 1961 when Whitey Ford broke it.
The following year 1919, he played 111 games
in the outfield when he wasn't pitching and slugged 29 home
runs, the most in major league history, and for good measure,
'the bambino' hit a homer in every American League park. He
led the league in runs (103), in RBIs (114), in on-base-pct
and slugging pct.
The Boston Red Sox won four World Series in
the eight years Babe Ruth played on the team. They sold Ruth
to the New York Yankees for $125,000 and a $300,000 loan because
Boston's owner Harry Frazee needed the cash to invest in a
new play on Broadway. As noted since the cash transaction,
Boston's inability to win a single World Series Title has
been attributed to "The Curse of the Bambino."
The curse has now been reversed! The Boston
Red Sox have won the 2004 World Series!
Babe Ruth pitching career: 94 Wins 46 Losses, .671 pct. 2.28
ERA, started 148 games and completed 107, opponents batting
View Babe Ruth Legends
(Page 5: Power Days)