Marketing of a Bambino
joyful that the Red Sox won, but I'm a little bored with
all this talk about breaking a "Curse." The
Red Sox won. There was no Curse. And there was no exorcism.
This was just great baseball.
Every sportwriter from here to Lynn, Mass. keeps telling
me I've been praying for an end to The Curse for a long
time. But I keep scratching my head. When I was a kid,
we never said "Oh, but for this Curse of the Bambino
I might be a happier person." We never said: "The
Red Sox are Cursed." No. We said: "The Red Sox
So where the hell did this idea of a Curse really came
from? Did I miss something?
Turns out that The Curse of "mythical" proportions
is... Well, it really is a myth. It's been propogated
by people who like to sell t-shirts and hats with Bage
Ruth's image on them and lame sportswriters who find it's
easier to write about a "Curse" that never existed
than it would be to closely examine and explain what happened
in a baseball game.
The fact is, even though people now talk about "The
Curse" or "The Curse of the Bambino" as
though it's been around for decades, the idea of a "Curse"
is really only 15 or 20 years old.
Take the phrase "Curse of the Bambino." Seems
like it's been around for decades, right? After all, Babe
Ruth was sold to the Yankees in 1920, so it just makes
sense that it's this ancient old curse that people have
been talking about for years and years, right?
No. In fact, the first reference to the "Curse of
the Bambino" was made in June 1990, when a sportswriter
named Dan Shaughnessy published a book by that title.
I searched millions of articles on Factiva, which has
newspaper accounts going back to the early 1970s, and
I find no articles referring to any curse involving any
Bambino before 1990. However, since then, there have been
5,400 articles written referring to this "Curse of
the Bambino." So a lot of us have falsely recovered
a memory that the phrase existed earlier than 1990. It
"Curse of the Bambino?" Myth. And marketing.
Okay, you say, but even if it wasn't always called "the
curse of the Bambino," surely people have been talking
about "The Curse" on the Sox for decades, right?
Actually, no they haven't.
According to my Factiva search, the first reference to
any "curse" on the Red Sox came during the 1986
Pennant series against the Angels. In that year, sportswriters
were saying that the Angels and Red Sox seemed to be equally
"cursed." And, they said, whichever team lost
that series would be henceforth labeled as "cursed."
Uh, folks... The Bosox won that one. So, like, uh...
I hate to be picky. This was a historic win.
There was an 86-year-long drought broken. But
there was no end to any "Curse" because there
was no Curse. Just shitty staring pitching.
Finch is a volunteer staff writer for 2 Walls Webzine)