Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Bless Us, Babe, For We Have Sinned

I'm not sure putting an 85-year curse on one's former team counts as a miracle in canon law, but it's clear that the Bambino is a baseball saint.

Baseball Fans Turn to Babe Ruth for Intervention

By Aleksandrs Rozens

HAWTHORNE, N.Y., (Reuters) - When all else fails, try prayer.

Fans of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox -- fierce rivals locked in a tense playoff series that turned violent in Game 3 on Saturday -- are heading to the grave of baseball great Babe Ruth to seek divine intervention for "The Curse of the Bambino."

Boston has not won a World Series (news - web sites) since selling Ruth -- "the Bambino" -- to the Yankees. The team, which won its last championship in 1918, sold Ruth two years later.

The Yankees have since dominated the sport, and their stadium is known as "the House That Ruth Built."

Yankees fan Vincent Serratore of the Bronx went over the weekend to leave a cigar at the stogie-loving Ruth's grave at the Cemetery of the Gate of Heaven about 30 miles north of New York.

"The curse lives," Serratore said, expressing the deep superstition that is a characteristic of many baseball fans. "I don't care what anybody says."

Piled on the gravesite were flowers, candy, an apple, baseballs, Yankee caps, American flags, rosary beads, baseball ticket stubs and a framed poster of the baseball great, who held the career home run-hitting record for much of the 20th century.

Cemetery staff says traffic to the site has been steady in recent days. From a Red Sox fan was a written note, pleading with Ruth to lift the curse.

"Go Sox. Just One, Thanks Babe," it read.

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