Ever since Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $125,000 to finance his Broadway show, No, No, Nanette, the Red Sox have been cursed, reports CBS News Correspondent Russ Mitchell. They haven't won a World Series since 1918; in the 80 plus years since, they've suffered some embarrassing losses.
Many of those were to the Yankees. Now they are facing each other for the right to go to the World Series and the Sox are down 2-0.
No one seemed surprised when an umpire made an apparent bad call in the eighth inning of the first game that naturally went against Boston. Bernie Williams came up in the 10th and hit a solo home run, ending the game and once again sending Boston to defeat in a big game.
Writer Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, and author of The Curse of the Bambino, tried to explain the fabled bad luck.
"I think when Ruth went to New York, the rivalry really took up because the Yankees became the great team," he said.
So why do bad things seem to happen to the Red Sox?
"That's where the curse comes in," Shaughnessy continued. "You try to explain the unexplainable - why do they come so close and it doesn't work out?"
Shaughnessy recalled Game Six of the 1986 World Series. The Red Sox were one strike away from winning their first World Series since Ruth pitched the Beantowners to two victories against the Chicago Cubs. The New York Mets' Mookie Wilson hit a ground ball that somehow rolled through Sox first baseman Bill Buckner's legs; the runner on second bolted home. As Red Sox fans watched in horror,the Mets won the game 6-5 and the series 4-3.
"The thing was won, all of a sudden it's not won. Logically you say theyÂ… haven't had the best teams, but there were times they could have broken through and it didn't happen," said Shaughnessy.
Shaughnessy said the 1975 World Series featured a play like the one that recently decided a Red Sox-Yankees game.
In what some have called the finest World Series game ever played, the Red Sox loaded the bases against the Cincinnati Reds in the top of the ninth inning with no one out and the score tied 6-6. They failed to score.
During the bottom of the 12th, Sox catcher Carlton Fisk blasted a high drive to left field. The question was: fair or foul? Fisk jumped in ecstasy as the bail ricocheted off the foul pole. With that home run, Boston took the game 7-6. However, the Reds eventually won the series.
"These things repeat themselves over and over again," Shaughnessy said.
He previewed Sunday's game.
"This is the best match up I can ever remember. [Pitcher Roger] Clemens played three years in Boston, now his name is dirt because not only did he abandon Boston, he went to the Yankees... He's sleeping with the enemy now," Shaughnessy said.