From the “I Just Have To Say” Sports Desk:
For 86 years the Boston Red Sox aimed to win a World Series.
In this pursuit they were not unlike any organized team in any league, playing any sport, in any nation -ever. Every sports team wants to win its League Championship.
Of course, it’s one of the great things about organized sport that only one team can win it all in a given season. It relegates the rest, the vast majority -the masses- to annual disappointment. In this way, mainly, sports are like real life.
But the quest for a championship also creates a reason for the annual renewal of hope. In the world of sport, it is the reason to be.
For 86 years the hopes of the Boston Red Sox and their fans were annually dashed. Many years, the dashing came early and with certainty. A few times, victory seemed tantalizingly close, only to squirt between someone’s legs, or be otherwise led by the hand of fate to another team’s locker room.
For 86 years the Boston Red Sox’ and their fans’ annual disappointment was rooted in The Curse of the Bambino.
Bad Ju-Ju left over from Boston’s having traded, in 1918, the once and future Sultan of Swat, who would go on to lead the New York Yankees to a decade of championships and establish himself as perhaps the greatest baseball player of all time, was said to doom the Cradle of the American Revolution to perpetual baseball futility.
And this year had begun to look like so many others in the past 86. The Red Sox battled their Yankees nemeses the entire season and were on the brink of elimination in the American League playoffs, when they began to write a new page in sports history.
Down 3-0 in a best of four playoff series with the Yankees, they confronted the first of Sports History’s maxims: no baseball team had ever forced even a seventh game after being down by three in a seven game series.
But the Sox did it, taking four in a row from the Yankees. The final two wins they secured in New York, to renew the idea that Anything Is Possible.
They went then to the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, who had won this year more regular season games than any team in baseball. The cursed Sox smoked the Cards, winning four games in a row, the last two in St. Louis, to give proof to the idea that History is Not Dead.
And so this morning vast numbers of people throughout the globe awaken to a new reality and to lives unencumbered by “The Curse.” Among Boston Red Sox fans everywhere, and perhaps among some people who are not even particularly fans of the sport of baseball, there is a sense that justice can prevail, that their time can come, that all hope is not lost. The universe has proved that optimism can be rewarded, even if it takes a long life to collect the reward.
Given the state of affairs beyond the sylvan fields of the baseball diamond, the Boston Red Sox World Series victory could not have come at a more propitious moment.