The Curse and Dem Bums in a Nutshell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Red Sox and Dodgers are each colorfully infamous for their associations with two of baseball’s most unforgettable litany lines (i.e., please note: we said “litany’ lines ~ not “Nittany Lions.”).

Because Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the soon-to-be-hated-even more Yankees prior to the 1920 season, the Boston American League club would not win another World Series until the 21st century after winning five of the first fourteen they played under the new World Series format that started in 1903.

It’s right there in the record, gaping back at the reader with all the green-with-envy and orange-with-anger Boston Irish eyes that fed annually upon the idea of “The Curse of the Bambino” for all of the seasons beyond 1918 that their team couldn’t even get back to a World Series until 1946 ~ but only to incur the next level of the curse ~ coming close in the Series 4 more times, once in only four of the six remaining 20th century decades, but only to lose painfully each time. ~ Remember Bill Buckner in 1986?

Then the Red Sox got their splits together in the 21st century and broke “the curse” in 2004, and twice more since, with a good chance of doing it again this year, 2018, based upon their relentless destruction of the Dodgers in Game One of last night’s opener.

The Dodgers, “‘Dem Bums” from their almost always getting beat up Brooklyn days are another story. They pretty much made hapless losing and painful last game crumbling an art form ~ and with considerable help from the Yankees ~ Except for 1955, Brooklyn fans ended every damned season screaming loud into the those bitter last game nights ~ “Wait’ll Next Year!”

Once they moved to Los Angeles, the Dodgers started getting to the World Series more often on a win-some/lose-some basis, but now they are battling a 30-year absence from winning their last one.

Astros Nation appreciates the thrilling challenge that the Dodgers gave our Houston club last year. Our Game Five Astros victory at home was one for the ages and a Game Seven Houston closer win in LA was one we shall cherish forever.

We also knew that the Dodgers have that kind of losing in their baseball DNA and that “Wait Until Next Year” came quickly to their minds, if not their lips, when the deed was done.

Now “Wait’ll Next Year” has become the Astros’ 2018 season swan song. We are hoping it’s available to us only on a short-term rental basis.

Here are the World Series bottom lines for both the Red Sox and the Dodgers. See for yourself. The agony and the ecstasy is all laid out here for your own experience with its indelible baseball lore presence in fact.

 

Boston Red Sox Franchise World Series Record

YEAR S#-F# RED SOX OPPPONENT W-L-W%
1903 01-01 W 5-3 > PGH PIRATES 1-0, 1.000
1904 No World Series
1912 08-02 W 4-3 > NY GIANTS 2-0, 1.000
1915 11-03 W 4-1 > PHI ATHLETICS 3-0, 1.000
1916 12-04 W 4-1 > BRK ROBINS 4-0, 1.000
1918 14-05 W 4-2 > CHI CUBS 5-0, 1.000
1946 42-06 L 3-4 < SL CARDINALS 5-1,   .833
1967 63-07 L 3-4 < SL CARDINALS 5-2,   .714
1975 71-08 L 3-4 < CIN REDS 5-3,   .625
1986 82-09 L 3-4 < NY METS 5-4,   .556
1994 No World Series
2004 99-10 W 4-0 > SL CARDINALS 6-4,   .600
2007 102-11 W 4-0 > COL ROCKIES 7-4,   .636
2013 108-12 W 4-2 > SL CARDINALS 8-4,   .667

Header Notes:

S#-F# = Word Series & Franchise Sequential Numbers as actual events. No World Series took place in either 1904 or 1994. The franchise always has been located in Boston and has played in the World Series as the Red Sox since 1912. They won, however, as the “Boston Americans” in the 1903 start of it all.

What about the 19th century championships?

Our accounting for World Series history begins with the 20th century modern era that began in 1903. We are mindful of the 19th century baseball championships and no denigration of those accomplishments is intended. Baseball simply lacked the stability to organize anything that had much chance of lasting longer than a given team’s immediate direct interest in playing in such a game. The losers simply walked away and the league had no shared partnership that could sustain all team support, even during the bad years that some clubs might be having.

1903 was the start of the time in which 16 stable franchises started for the first time what has continued through today as the same process that 16 founders and 14 expansion franchise brothers that survived over time continue to make happen. In 2018, MLB is still playing annually for the same clearly named World Series Championship on a prescribed annual basis. Nothing like that ever happened until the 20th century.

Even in the 20th century movement, baseball had to survive the Giants’ refusal to play Boston in the 1904 Series that didn’t happen. McGraw and company apparently were afraid of losing, but these actions prodded MLB into fighting for a total commitment that would not allow a single club, from 1905 forward, to refuse the honor of representing their league in The Series. It would be their honor and their responsibility to play the World Series.

And that’s the codicil rule that separated the 20th century World Series effort from anything that happened in the 19th century. McGraw and the Giants might have been allowed to bully baseball into killing the 1903 World Series effort as someone always did in some way during the 19th century period, but, this time, baseball stopped the bully. So, in the end, baseball did not really have a World Series plan in place until the 1905 games were played, as we said earlier, as a matter of honor and responsibility.

And that’s my shortest route to why I prefer to start anything I do on the World Series from the 1903 effort forward ~ and that’s no denigration of the earlier era. 19th century baseball people simply were either too powerless or unable to see what was holding them back from a World Series plan that could hope to survive.

 

Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers Franchise World Series Record 

YEAR S#-F# BROOKLYN OPPONENT W-L-W%
1916 12-01 L 1-4 < BOS RED SOX 0-1, .000
1920 16-02 L 2-5 < CLE INDIANS 0-2, .000
1941 37-03 L 1-4 < NY YANKEES 0-3, .000
1947 43-04 L 3-4 < NY YANKEES 0-4, .000
1949 45-05 L 1-4 < NY YANKEES 0-5, .000
1952 48-06 L 3-4 < NY YANKEES 0-6, .000
1953 49-07 L 2-4 < NY YANKEES 0-7, .000
1955 51-08 W 4-3 > NY YANKEES 1-7, .125
1956 52-09 L 3-4 < NY YANKEES 1-8, .111
LOS ANGELES
1959 55-10 W 4-2 > CHI WHITE SOX 2-8, .200
1963 59-11 W 4-0 > NY YANKEES 3-8, .273
1965 61-12 W 4-3 > MIN TWINS 4-8, .333
1966 62-13 L 0-4 < BAL ORIOLES 4-9, .308
1974 70-14 L 1-4 < OAK ATHLETICS 4-10, .286
1977 73-15 L 2-4 < NY YANKEES 4-11, .267
1978 74-16 L 2-4 < NY YANKEES 4-12, .250
1981 77-17 W 4-2 > NY YANKEES 5-12, .294
1988 84-18 W 4-1 > OAK ATHLETICS 6-12, .333
1994 No World Series
2017 112-19 L 3-4 < HOU ASTROS 6-13, .316

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

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One Response to “The Curse and Dem Bums in a Nutshell”

  1. Cliff Blau Says:

    The Dodgers also lost to the Giants in the 1889 World Series, and tied Louisville in 1890.

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