Report: Worker tries to jinx Yanks with buried Red Sox shirt

Updated: April 11, 2008, 5:40 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Boston Red Sox fans know more than a little about superstitions -- and one apparently decided to share the anxiety with Boston's biggest rival.

[+] EnlargeYankee Stadium
AP Photo/Mark LennihanSomewhere underneath all this concrete, steel and construction equipment at the new Yankee Stadium, a Red Sox T-shirt may be lurking to jinx the Bronx Bombers, according to the New York Post.
A construction worker and Boston fan working on the concrete crew at the $1.3 billion new Yankee Stadium buried a Red Sox shirt in with the concrete foundation under what will become the visitors' clubhouse, in the hopes of jinxing the New York Yankees' new home, the New York Post reported.

Two construction workers told the newspaper about the stunt on conditon of anonymity.

"In August, a Red Sox T-shirt was poured in a slab in the visitor's clubhouse. It's the curse of the Yankees," one worker told the Post. "Nobody knows about it. It's in the floors, it's buried."

The workers say they're now afraid that they've jinxed the Yankees.

"I don't want to be responsible for sinking the franchise," said a second worker, who witnessed the burial. "I respect the stadium."

"I guess if the Yankees go 86 years in the new ballpark without a win we'll know if we are on to something," the second worker said, referring to Boston's title drought after the franchise sold Babe Ruth.

Those workers might not have anything to worry about: The team said Friday that the story, while intriguing, simply wasn't true.

"We noticed that the [New York] Post wrote a fun and interesting story about a T-shirt today -- but it never happened," the team said in a statement. "Yankee fans know that burying something in concrete in the basement is never a good thing.

"Memo to the Post: You're 10 days late for April Fool's Day."

And if it did happen? Chris Wertz, the co-owner of Professor Thom's in New York's East Village -- a haven for Red Sox fans in the Big Apple -- thought the move was a stroke of genius, according to the report.

"I won't be surprised in the least bit to see that visiting locker room torn up and relaid right away," he said, according to the Post. "This is what makes the game special for baseball fans. It's not a mean thing, but something they will take seriously."

There are precedents for fans strategically burying trinkets for good luck. During the construction of the ice rink for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, a worker laid a Canadian one-dollar coin (known as a "loonie") at center ice. Canada went on to win its first gold medal in men's ice hockey since 1952.

And Mickey Bradley, a co-author of "Haunted Baseball," told the Post that a worker was said to have buried an unknown good-luck charm in a water main trench of the current Yankee Stadium back in 1920.

"Prior to that, they never won a World Series," he said, according to the newspaper.

But the Yankees said they're not concerned that a piece of Red Sox-colored cotton could be lurking under their feet at their new home.

"It sounds like a tall tale, and it would take more than a Red Sox T-shirt to put a curse on the Yankees," team spokesman Howard Rubenstein told the Post.