Babe Ruth was a member of the Boston Red Sox from 1914 to 1919. During this time he would set several pitching records, hit 28 home runs in a single season (more than had ever been achieved before, but still only a drop in the bucket for his later years), and helped the team win the World Series on three separate occasions. He was an excellent baseball player by any definition of the word, and considered to be one of the team’s greatest assets.
They thus had to get rid of him. Owner Harry Frazee, frustrated with an ongoing pay dispute involving himself and the Babe, decided to trade the star player to the New York Yankees for the sum of $100,000. When asked about the seemingly dubious decision, he stated, “I do not mind saying I think they are taking a gamble.” Babe Ruth would go on to hit 665 further home runs over the remainder of his career, win four additional World Series, and even have a candy bar named after him, to boot.
The Boston Red Sox did not fare nearly so well. What immediately began was the “Curse of the Bambino”, in which the famed sports team would stumble continuously for the next eighty-six years. No matter how much they tried, no matter how much they improved, no matter how much they got down on their knees and prayed with teeth clenched, they would always find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
The curse finally ended in 2004, when the Boston Red Sox managed to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the World Series. Oddly enough, there was also a total eclipse of the moon going on at the time. The one fated moment, perhaps, when the curse could at last be broken.