Red Sox fans resigned to be second-best

Updated: October 17, 2003, 2:39 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The curse of The Bambino prevailed shortly after midnight Friday as the New York Yankees triumphed over the Boston Red Sox in the 11th inning.

"We love it," said Yankee fan Bob Ennis of Brick, N.J. "The curse is alive and well."

Late in the game, with the Red Sox up 5-2, it appeared the curse would be broken. But in the eighth inning, the Yankees scored three runs to tie the game and homered in the 11th.

The stadium was electric Friday after Yankee Aaron Boone hit the winning run, giving the Yankees one of their most dramatic comebacks in recent memory.

Yankees fans waved photographs of Babe Ruth -- aka The Bambino -- and signs that read "The curse of the Bambino lives."

"It's awesome," said Tom Baniani of New City, N.J. "This is the best thing; we will always be the best."

Dejected Red Sox fans bowed their heads as they filed out of the stadium, but they didn't blame the loss on the curse.

"I'm completely and totally crushed," said John Cooney, of Boston. "It happens every year. They just have a better team."

According to baseball lore, the curse started after the 1918 season, when the Boston Red Sox won their fifth World Series with the help of Ruth.

Two years later, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee traded the Babe to the Yankees to help finance the building of Fenway Park. The Yankees went on to dominate baseball, winning 26 World Series, and the Red Sox have suffered in baseball purgatory since.

Many Yankees fans brought good-luck charms to the game to keep the curse alive.

New Yorker Freddy Schuman, 78, had crafted a pan painted with a four-leaf cover that he banged with a spoon. The makeshift drum was attached to a sign that read "Freddy Sez Yanks in Seven, don't look glum-chum."

William Arroyo, 31, of Newark, N.J., stood outside Yankee stadium and propped open a casket holding a black-robed skeleton in effigy of Boston Red Sox star pitcher Pedro Martinez, surrounded by skulls and crossbones.

A head shot of Martinez -- one of Yankees fans' most hated foes - was plastered to the skeleton's skull. A tombstone at the base of the casket carried the Red Sox logo and the words "1918: RIP."

"It happens every year," said Red Sox fan Karl MacGibbon of Goffstown, N.H. as he left the stadium. "It's always New York."


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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