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The Curse of the Bambino Paperback – September 1, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Boston Globe sportswriter Shaughnessy contends that the cash sale in 1920 of star Babe Ruth by his team, the Boston Red Sox, to the New York Yankees put a curse on the Beantown franchise that has prevailed for 70 years. In support of that argument, he reviews the history of the team--but with a difference. Most books about the Sox during this era may indulge in necessary masochism; Shaughnessy's is a super-deluxe masochism. He concentrates almost exclusively on end-season and post-season play, discussing in agonizing detail the team's four defeats in the World Series, its lack of success in the only two playoff games in league history, the collapse in the 1988 American League Championship Series--and all those times when the Bosox failed to lead their league or division by a single game or two. 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.
Copyright 1990 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
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I think what author Dan Shaughnessy did with the Sox curse is give a reader the full unbiased story from beginning to end. As a baseball fan you'll enjoy reading not only about Babe Ruth and owner Harry Frazee, but the many many ball players and incidents that mysteriously kept the curse going for over 90 years. I do feel for those Red Sox fans who lived and died during the era of the curse, never seeing their beloved Sox win it all. I believe this book is a tribute to those fans as well as fans of all sports who know the heartbreak of being close to winning it all only to have it snatched away in the blink of a interception, a three pointer, a goal, a putt or a sure out ground ball mysteriously rolling between two Buckner legs. Sorry Sox fans, it couldn't be avoided.
Dan writes like few other sports writers reporting on baseball. He mixes the old with the new, the facts with the myths and the heroics with the heart breaks. He's a reporter who isn't afraid to give his take on why the unexpected in sports can so easily become the expected. He gives us also a glimpse into the ever growing history of baseball, even throwing in the Jackie Robinson story. I never knew that Robinson's first tryout in the majors was with the Boston Red Sox, did you?
I really enjoyed reading my 2000 Penguin Edition of "The Curse of The Bambino," which features a picture of Bill Buckner's blunder on the cover. I refused to put it down at a time when my San Francisco Giants were exorcising demons of their own on the way to a Giants World Series Championship, their first in San Francisco ever. It was a season full of torture as well as triumph and it had a sort of unexplainable redemptive spiritual essence to it. Call it a reverse of a curse if you will, it was amazing. Mesmerizing right through to the victory parade down San Francisco's Market Street.
If you love the game of baseball, you'll appreciate the incredible stories that come with it. The Curse of The Bambino is one of those incredible stories that must be chewed on like tobacco in order to savor the juices, even if those juices are known to be hazardous to your health.
Great Job Dan!
The idea of the Bambino curse is hardly new and it is not one that appeals to a clear-thinking analysis of the history of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. It is, of course, a fantasy which, like all fantasies, has emotional appeal, but is not very well connected to reality. There was no curse. Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees and then the Boston Red Sox endured an eighty-plus year period of poor teams, mediocre teams and very good teams that came up just short. The loss of the Babe had nothing to do with Red Sox frustrations after say, the late 1920's. But the idea that it did has a certain appeal to the frustrated child in many Red Sox fans. My problem with this is that fantasies that appeal to the frustrated children in adult populations can bring out the worst in those adults. 'Nuff said.
To be sure, Dan has supplied some of historical details of Red Sox history. He writes well enough. He's one of the best sportswriters on the excellent Boston Globe staff. This book is a pleasant enough read - except when it feeds the sort of negaitivity and narcissism to which the idea of "a curse" appeals. There are much better books on the sad post-Babe history of this team, like RED SOX CENTURY. There was little reason to write this book except that the time was right and Dan,in addition to being a good writer and a good guy, knows an opportunity when he sees one. This is far from his best work.
Find something else of his - ANYTHING ELSE OF HIS - to read. I say all this as someone who enjoys Shaughnessy's writing for the Boston Globe and who sees him as someoene who typically does not engage in the childishness and negativity that has, for decades, characterized the Boston sports media. His impetus to write this book, I'm afraid, represents a lapse in Dans's usually good judgment.