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Monday, September 6, 2004

The oracle at Fenway.

I haven't been especially vigilant at the Red Sox Theology Watch this season, but as the team's fortunes have taken a definite turn for the better since Nomar's departure, well, sooth-saying has come back strong. Naturally, it's all focused on "reversing the curse," the enduring focus of much New England faith, er, superstition.

Let's see: We have the 1918 penny left by a patron at a Fenway Park beerstand:

[I]ts meaning is undeniable, [the bartenders] say: Every fan knows 1918 was the last year the Sox won the World Series, the year before George Herman ''Babe" Ruth was sold to the evil Yankees, reputedly unleashing the legendary Curse of the Bambino. . . .

The good-luck penny is now taped to the stand's beer fridge, where the men plan to display it for the rest of the season. ''If you're a Red Sox fan and you've been around for this long, you get it."

And there's the serendipitous constellation of omens last week, when a foul ball bloodied a teenage boy — you know, a blood sacrifice on the Fenway altar. Is wasn't just any teenage boy, either:

[O]n a night when the moon was nearly full, when the Sox continued their epic surge, and when the Yankees suffered the most lopsided defeat in the history of the storied franchise, [Manny] Ramirez may have unwittingly done what countless others have failed to do before him. He may well have broken the curse under which the team has labored since Ruth was sold to the Yankees in 1919.

A 16-year-old boy stood up in Section 9, Box 95, Row AA, with hopes of catching the ball. But he wasn't just any teenager. No, this was Lee Gavin, who has lived his entire life in a rambling farmhouse on Dutton Road in Sudbury that is best known to anyone west of Boston as the house where Babe Ruth lived.

Mrs Philocrites says she expects to hear soon about the entrails of buffalo wings. Keep your fingers crossed and avoid black cats on Yawkey Way: This could be the year.

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 6 September 2004 at 10:30 AM

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September 6, 2004 09:53 PM | Permalink for this comment

I went to the Red Sox game yesterday(they won 6-5). The official program had a long and fascinating article about the fictional origins of "the curse" and about how Harry Frazee, the owner who sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees, was originally painted as a villain by Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent for supposedly being a New York Jew who was corrupting baseball (Frazee was actually an Episcopalian). Unfortunately, I can't find this article online.

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