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The Curse of the Bambino Paperback – September 1, 2000

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The Curse of the Bambino
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Four World Series defeats and two playoff losses are among the numerous misfortunes that have befallen the Boston Red Sox in the 70 years since their sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. "In story after story of near-triumph, the book should delight the team's most fanatically loyal followers, who will find it the verbal equivalent of a hair shirt," said PW .
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A wonderful book that performs magnificently on every level-as history, as drama, and as pure entertainment. -- Doris Kearns Goodwin

The best history of the snake--bitten Boston Red Sox ever penned. -- Larry King, USA Today

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Updated edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140296336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140296334
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,643,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on October 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I was a kid growing up in Boston in the 60s and 70s, the was never a mention of any 'Curse of the Bambino.' It was simply a case of the Red Sox not measuring up to the Yankees on many benchmarks...managers (Grady Little trying to match wits against Joe Torre being only the latest example), ownership (Tom Yawkey's plantation mentality meant the Sox were the last team to integrate), team chemistry (the famous '25 cabs for 25 guys' line was written to describe the Yastrzemski-era Sox) and player personnel (the 70s teams, for example, featured bombers to take advantage of Fenway who could neither run, field, bunt nor sacrifice as well as their chief rivals).

So, Dan Shaughnessy comes along post-1986 collapse with the trite, kitschy 'Curse of the Bambino' and suddenly every talking head in America has a little piece of pop psychology they can gear their stories around - witness, as an example, any recent Fox broadcast with shot after shot of Ruth 'ghosts' parading through the stands at Yankee Stadium. Great visuals, cue it up between batters, between pitches...but why load these 25 current players with that extra-heavy burden? 'Curse' has been a healthy annuity for Shaughnessy, no doubt (and I give him some credit for the that), but from his Globe byline pulpit and his repeated intonations about The Curse, he has unwittingly become somewhat his home team's worst enemy (witness the venom on these pages as a confirmation of that opinion).

What's different about 2003 and beyond is that the Henry/Lucchino/Epstein regime doesn't buy into this garbage. They see baseball for what it is - a game of statistics, percentages and chances. Get your numbers to the point where they are better than the competition, and more times than not your team is going to win.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you want a good history of the Red Sox, please see Red Sox Century. It is a well written account of the entire history of the Red Sox. In the Curse of the Bambino, you will find a poorly written book that is neither humorous nor entertaining. The book perpetuates the myth of curse through mistruths and distortions of fact. If you truly are interested in the occult, I'm sure there are better selections to choose from than this book.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful By P. Forget on October 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
It's not only the lack of factual research that makes this book a wasted read...
The book is based on a fairy tale, that the author has presented as a reason for the Red Sox' misfortunes of the past 80+ years. It is completely illegitimate.
Red Sox fans have Dan Shaughnessy to thank for getting the "Bambino" curse into the national media spotlight. He has (unwittingly?) become the number one enemy & annoyance to the Red Sox and their fans. Until The Sox win the series, they will be taunted by moronic tv announcers that treat this as an noteworthy story, and nit wit opposing team fans that hold up pictures of Babe Ruth, to try and taunt the Red Sox.
There was a recent documentary on HBO on this subject, with the author trying to sell this book. After hearing him speak on the subject, I cannot even consider him a journalist.
Thanks Dan, looking forward to your biography on the Easter Bunny.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
For the past decade, this book (of which this edition is updated thru 1999) has been considered the be-all and end-all of Red Sox books. This was, for a long time, my favorite Red Sox book. Unfortunately, it just doesn't hold up anymore.
Several recent books have told the Red Sox story, or at least large portions of it, better and more accurately, beginning with Golenbock's "Fenway," Keene's "The Babe in Red Stockings," and Waterman's 1918 chronicle "The Year the Red Sox Won the World Series." All of these books combine to cast doubt on significant portions of Shaughnessy's tale, particularly the story of the Curse itself. An even more recent title, "Red Sox Century," (to which, oddly, Shaughnessy contributes an essay) completes the job thouroughly, retelling this story and many others much more completely. In light of these other revelations, re-reading the Curse, as enjoyable as it is at times, is also disquieting. Facts upon facts are called into question, and make Shaughnessy's rendering of the Red Sox story appear as more a work of fiction. It seems impossible that he could have gotten so much so wrong, but the evidence in the above titles seems irrefutable when compared against the details of Shaughnessy's book. While the Curse remains enjoyable, it just appears that much of it is simply factually incorrect. Fairy tales have value, but it is time to grow up. This book is like a cherished baseball record, once considered unassailable, that has been broken several times over.
Sox fans have long clung to the Curse as the defining moment in franchise history. Unfortunately, it now seems as if we've been worshipping a false god the whole time.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jim D on June 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is an insult to all true Red Sox fans. It stitches together fragments of half-truths, rumours and innuendos and weaves them into a bizarre mosaic of supernatural gobbledy-gook. What has been called a "curse" in this puff piece by a particulary negative and mean-spirited Boston sportswriter is actually very easily attributable to bad and short sighted Red Sox ownership, particularly during the Yawkey era.
Because this "curse" captured the national consciousness for a short time, in large part due to the author's self-promoting claims that its existence was taken for granted by majority of Red Sox nation, true Red Sox fans now have to endure the supposed "legitimacy" of this silly concept. It actually piques many long time Red Sox fans that the Baseball public outside of Massachusetts believe in this curse and that we take it seriously.
A much more sober and accurate description of Red Sox history, both the good and the bad, can be found in a book entitled "Red Sox Century". If you really want to know about the truth of the Red Sox, please read that book instead of this tripe. Don't help perpetuate a stereotype, explore the true story.... and don't believe this hype.
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