Thorn: The great baseball rivalry, Yankees vs. Red Sox

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on May 9, 2018:

For a very long time the Yankees and Red Sox were not bitter rivals at all: when one team was great, the other was not, and no one perceived Boston’s decades-long World Series drought as “The Curse of the Bambino” until long after his death. In fact, that richly sardonic term was not coined until 1990, by Boston writer Dan Shaughnessy, to convey the enduring misery of Red Sox fans who had not seen a championship club since 1918. That “curse” was finally broken in 2004, when Boston came back from a 3–0 deficit to take the final four games of the American League Championship Series from the Yankees, then rolled on to an easy World Championship. They have won two additional titles since.

The “Curse” manifested itself in Boston losses to other clubs, too (particularly the Fall Classics of 1946, 1967, 1975, and 1986, each an agonizing seventh-game defeat). But the matter at hand is The Great Rivalry of Boston and New York, cities which started with differing notions of culture and commerce at the very birth of the nation. The long simmering animosity wove its way into baseball after 1903, when the New York Yankees franchise began; Boston, a charter franchise in the new American League, was in its third season of play.

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Originally published: May 9, 2018. Last Updated: May 9, 2018.