Thursday, July 20, 2006
Yankees - Red Sox Rivalry
The Yankees have always been known to break the hearts of the Red Sox and their loyal rooters. Unquestionably, baseball is America’s favorite game and Yankees-Red Sox competition America’s favorite rivalry. The unusual rivalry shared by the two teams by each passing season has become more and more intense and deep-rooted. On September 11, 1918, the Red Sox after defeating the Chicago Cubs four games to two won the last of their five World Series titles.
Before the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, the Sox’s main rival team was the Boston Braves, their cross-town rivals. Both the teams consistently fought for their paying customers. The fortunes of the Red Sox took a drastic turn when Harry Frazee, the owner of Red Sox sold George Herman Ruth to sponsor his girlfriend’s show traded Gorge Herman Babe Ruth. The trade went on to become known as the "Curse of the Bambino." This was also marked the beginning of the most heated rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox. From 1919 until 1932, the Red Sox won 818 games and lost an incredible 1,312 for a winning percentage of .384. To add more to this, the Sox ownership continued to sell their star players to the Yankees. Eventually, the Red Sox reached on the verge of becoming a New York minor league team. Yankees vs. Red Sox went on to become the Greatest Rivalry in Sports because it contained every element required for a great rivalry.
After 28 years of futility, the Sox won their first pennant in 1946, but could not sustain their hold on the victory and lost the World Series title to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. On October 2, 1949, the Red Sox and the Yankees contended for the pennant in the last two games of the season. The only thing Red Sox needed to do was to win one of those games for the American League pennant. New York won both games (5-4, 5-3) and went on to defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series four games to one. After this Ted Williams never received an opportunity to get as close to the post-season again in his career. He retired in 1960. Until the mid-to-late '70s, both the teams showcased a kind of standardization in their standings. When one team was good enough to win the division, the other team was at best mediocre. In 1976, the Red Sox were once again fueled, when Bill Lee dislocated his left shoulder, his pitching shoulder due to Yankee outfielder Mickey Rivers. In 1978, The Yankees and Red Sox met in a one-game playoff for the American League East crown at Fenway Park. Bucky Dent ended all the postseason hopes when he lifted a fly ball to left field and over the wall in the seventh inning of that game. In 1986, the Red Sox went to the World Series against New York for the first time since 1912. But the cursed team allowed the Mets to score the winning runs as well to take the series.
In the early 90s, third baseman Wade Boggs signed the Yankees as a free agent and helped the team to win a World Series in 1996. His illustration of riding on the back of a horse that was etched after the game is still remembered by the Sox’s fans and adds more to their disgust. The major setback for the Red Sox was when former Sox ace Roger Clemens became the Yankees possession for the 2000 season. Several times, the red Sox fans booed the Yankees players by chanting "Yankees Suck", "Who's Your Papi", "0-3," "Yankees Choke” etc. However, the edgiest rivalry in sports took a spectacular turn in 2004, when the Red Sox won the season series against the Yankees, but still finished second to their rivals in the AL East for the seventh straight season. Both teams would advance to the ALCS for the second straight year. The Yankees, who had home field advantage for the second year in a row and went on to win three more games in a row. They eventually conquered the Yankees, and now the World Series seemed almost ordinary with the Red Sox over-powering the St. Louis Cardinals in four games for their first World Series crown in 86 years. With the World Series triumph by the Red Sox the "Curse of the Bambino" seem to be transferred to the Yankees or have been neutralized. During the 2005 season, the Yankees won first place in the AL East from the Red Sox, though both the teams had identical records. Though the teams were on the edge to square off in a third straight ALCS, both were eliminated during the Division Series.
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Posted by Steve Kenul at 8:54 AM
James Willis posted at 11:32 AM
I love the Boston celebration picture at the bottom...that was a lovely site.