The Greatest Story Ever Told
by Robyn Vandenberg
So, I’m sitting in the living room on a warm spring day in Georgetown, Ma. at my Aunt Diane's house and my Uncle Bruce is watching a Red Sox game on TV. I’m probably 8 or 9 years of age and I ask him who is winning. He looks at me and begrudgingly says “ Them....” I know who “ Them” means . The New York Yankees. I must have asked him why do they always win because that was when I first heard about ….The Curse . He told me to sit down and listen closely. This is what he told me on that warm spring day .
Now every great story has a good guy , a bad guy and romance. This story had all 3 !
Bad Guy : Red Sox Owner Harry Frenz
Good Guy : Babe Ruth
Romance : Harry and his “rumored “ lady friend who was an actress on Broadway.
Realize, this story has been handed down from generation to generation and was always called “ The Curse “. Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy gave the tale some credibility when he wrote the book called “ The Curse of The Bambino “ in 1990 . I happen to like the original – the story told by My Uncle. It may not be the exact truth and there may be some embellishment , but its mine …..
Here we go !
Once upon a time a great Baseball player named Babe Ruth played for The Boston Red Sox “ He Did ? I’ve only seen black and white news shots of him in a Yankees uniform !?” Yes, he did . He wasn’t just a home run king but he pitched as well ! “ What ? Then how did THEY get him ?” Well , he was sold to them and ever since then we have never won a World Series ! “ WHY? Why would we do that?”
That’s the million dollar question and it all comes down to one thing , a woman ! Harry was in love with this actress who wanted to be a Star ! The only way she could be a star was if she starred in a play. So the owner decided to buy a play called “No No Nanette”. The problem was he needed money. “ Ok but what does that have to do with The Sox ? “ Well, the only way he could get the money was to sell his best player to another team . “ What ? You man he sold Babe Ruth for a play ? “ Yes , yes he did and we have never won a World Series since ….
Fast Forward to 2004 , The Farrelly brothers are in the middle of making a movie called “ Fever Pitch”.
Its a Romantic/Comedy starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. Fallon plays a character who is obsessed with his beloved Red Sox and his GF, Barrymore has to learn to live with it or leave him.
The day before the premiere at Fenway park , I had the luxury to interview the Farrelly brothers for our local ESPN radio station. The most interesting part of the interview was that the ending had to be re-written. Why ? The Sox were WINNING ! They were rallying back from a 3-0 series w/the Yankees. They did it , they won 4 straight games and up next The World Series against The Cardinals !
We've been here before , many times – Im not going to name them all , However Bucky Effin Dent and Bill Buckner will always be engraved in my memory ! Moving on …..
The stars were aligned , the stage was set , the bloody sock became a martyr and just like that in 4 straight wins , The Red Sox after 79 years FINALLY lifted the curse ! I will never forget it. It was probably one of the best nights of my life. History was being made in front of all of us . I believe every single person was a Sox fan , how could they not be ? “Sweet Caroline” was being sung by every single baseball fan across the world !
Piano's did not need to be dredged from ponds ( Babe Ruth’s piano was rumored to be in a pond in Sudbury , Mass ). The Babe's corpse did not need to be exhumed (another crazy idea ) and many Red Sox fans could finally place a World Series pennant on the graves of loved ones who did not live long enough to see the day.
Spring training is about to start and with that a new beginning for all. The Sox have won another World Series since 2004 and now we can all take a breather . The Curse has indeed been lifted , now its up to the Players and the Coaches , their excuses are no more ….Let's Play Ball !
Confession : Tears Of Joy !