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Cursed No More

Cursed No MoreForfans and former players in the Tufts community, Boston’sWorld Series victory brings an end to years of agony and anxiety.Boston

Boston [10.29.04] In a remarkable run,the Boston Red Sox won a record eight-straight postseason gamesto break the mostfamous curse in professional sports. A team defined for 86years by heartbreak, disappointment and four unsuccessful tripsto the World Series, the Red Sox are now world champions. Forfans and former players in the Tufts community, the long waitwas worth it, as the team and its “nation” of loyalfans finally get to celebrate a championship.

“Allacross New England you can hear the sound of blackboards beingerased,” Tufts’ Sol Gittleman – an avid baseballfan who teaches a course on the history of the sport – toldThe Boston Globe. “All of that pain will disappear.Bill Buckner will feel better today. So will Johnny Pesky. A lotof ghosts have been put to rest. It’s over.”

That’swelcome news for legions of Red Sox fans who have watched seasonafter season end in predictable disappointment.

“It’sa real character builder to be a Red Sox fan,” Steve Galbraith– a Tufts graduate and lifelong fan – told BloombergNews, citing many of the dramatic World Series losses thathave riddled the Red Sox time and time again.

For years,the team was as much a source of anxiety and anticipation as itwas excitement.

“Thereason why [Red Sox] fans are quirky is because they have hadsuch a long tradition of failure,” Gittleman told NationalPublic Radio in an interview about the infamous “curse”two years ago.

Tufts graduateJimLonborg knows the emotional rollercoaster associated withBoston baseball all too well.

“[Lonborgwas] the last man to throw a complete-game one hitter in the WorldSeries – coincidentally the last time his Red Sox playedthe Cardinals for the championship in 1967,” reported TheAssociated Press.

His 15-yearmajor league career culminated with three historic appearancesin the 1967 World Series. The first two starts – describedas “brilliant performances” by Boston’s sportswriters– resulted in wins: a 5-0 one-hitter and a 3-1 three-hitter.But the third start, in Game 7, wasn’t enough to out-duelSt. Louis pitcher Bob Gibson, who shut down the Red Sox and sealedthe Cardinal’s World Series win.

Despite theheartbreaking loss, Lonborg described the experience as unlikeany other.

“Pitchingin the World Series is the greatest,” he told the Globe.“There is so much adrenaline flowing, you completely forgetall of the aches and pains that have built up during the season.”

That’swhy the Sox legend – who was inducted into the Red Sox Hallof Fame in 2002 – said he has particular respect for CurtSchilling, who pitched two postseason games with sutures in hisankle to protect a dislocated tendon.

“WatchingCurt in that game a few days ago, I think that was one of thegutsiest performances I’ve ever seen,” Lonborg toldthe Associated Press.

Gutsy hasbeen used a lot to describe this year’s team, which hasconverted a whole new generation of fans into Red Sox loyalists.

Followingone of Boston’s big postseason wins, Sports Illustratedcolumnist Peter King got a call from his daughter. "Thisis the greatest moment of my life!'' she screamed into the phone.

Reflectingon the moment in his column, he wrote: “Congratulations,Red Sox Nation. You've baptized another one. For life.”

 

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