January 5, 1920, marks the official beginning of the curse that was visited upon the major league baseball team whose home was Boston, Massachusetts. Yes, the Red Sox whose each player might as well have worn an albatross around his neck for the next 86 years. The Curse of the Bambino was upon them. For just as the Ancient Mariner shot the albatross and lived to regret it dearly, the powers that be in Boston baseball sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. (“And a thousand thousand slimy things lived on, and so did I.”)
Never mind that in his six seasons with the Red Sox, Ruth had led them to three World Series victories. Never mind that in those three Series, he had pitched 29 scoreless innings, a record that stood for 43 years. Never mind that during the 1919 season he hit 29 home runs and had 114 runs-batted-in. And never mind that he was professional baseball’s star attraction. The Red Sox got $125,000. for him.
As a result of their investment, New York chomped on year after year of Big Apples. Ruth hit 54 home runs in 1920, 59 in 1921. Yankee revenues grew so rapidly that by 1923 they were able to open Yankee Stadium, “the house that Ruth built.” And during those 86 years of the Curse of the Bambino, the Yankees won 26 World Series titles while the Red Sox wandered in the desert.