Ranking the Top 13 MLB Events That Prove Curses Exist
Everyone is familiar with curses.
It's that bit of superstitious doubt that creeps into certain teams' or players' head and helps bring about failure.
We all know about the Billy Goat and the Bambino.
And to a certain degree, it makes sense, because how else can you explain failure for almost a century?
There are even events that make it seem so obvious.
Is it merely coincidence, or curse?
Here are the top 13 instances that prove curses exist:
No. 13: Jose Mesa Blown Save
The Indians seemed like a team of destiny after dispatching the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles and were on the verge of winning the 1997 World Series when Jose Mesa entered the game for the save.
Mesa would blow the save, and the Indians would lose the game and the series to the Florida Marlins.
Add in the fact that the Indians hand’t won a World Series since 1948, and there is clear proof of a curse against the Indians.
No. 12: A-Rod to the Yanks
The Yankees then stepped in and stole the game’s best player out from under Boston’s nose.
A-Rod would win two MVPs for the Yankees, and be the key cog in their 2009 World Series run.
Sure, they won two World Series since the trade, but it still was a major irk for Red Sox Nation.
No. 11: 1975 World Series
The 1975 World Series is best remembered for the big home run Carlton Fisk hit to force a Game 7 against the Big Red Machine.
They even got out to a 3-0 lead in Game 7, but squandered the lead, the game and the series.
The series is considered by many baseball experts to be the best World Series ever.
Red Sox Nation considered it just another day at the office for the Curse of the Bambino.
No. 10: Mets' Almost No-Hitters
There’s a few of these, so I’m lump them into one slide.
The Mets have NEVER had a pitcher pitch a no-hitter for them in the history of their franchise.
Players like Tom Seaver, who threw five one-hitters as a Met never pitched one, and Nolan Ryan who had a billion of them never completed one as a Met.
Even David Cone or Dwight Gooden couldn't finish the job until they left Queens and made their way to the Bronx.
No. 9: The Red Sox's Double Trouble
The 1949 Red Sox entered the final day of the season in a doubleheader against the Yankees.
They needed to merely split the doubleheader to win the pennant.
Instead, they dropped both games to their arch-rivals, and Teddy Ballgame was once again fishing in October.
No. 8: The Lou Brock Trade
Lou Brock was one of the greatest players ever to play the game.
Believe it or not, he started his career as a Chicago Cub before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ernie Broglio.
Broglio was one of the best pitchers in the NL at the time, but did nothing for the North-Siders.
Brock went on to become a Hall of Famer.
Just another example of the Curse of the Billy Goat.
No. 7: Aaron Boone's Walkoff
The Curse of the Bambino struck one final time in 2003, when in Game 7 of the ALCS, Aaron Boone hit a home run to send the Yankees to the World Series.
The Red Sox had a huge lead in the early innings of the game, and squandered it due to manager Grady Little’s insistence on leaving Pedro Martinez in the game into the eighth inning.
Boone did nothing for the Yankees up to that point, and did nothing since.
No. 6: Ted Williams' Freak Injury
While the 1946 Boston Red Sox were waiting for the Cardinals to prevail in a three-game playoff series, they took on a squad of AL All Stars in an exhibition.
Ted Williams, Boston’s best player was hit in the elbow by a pitch.
The injury didn’t keep him physically out of the game, but it kept his bat out of it, as Teddy Ballgame hit only .200 in a series that saw them lose in seven games.
No. 5: The Boston Massacre
In early September of 1978, the Red Sox held a four game lead in the AL East when the rival Yankees came in to town for a four-game series.
What followed was a horror show dubbed the Boston Massacre by the press.
The Yankees annihilated the Sawx, sweeping them and outscoring them 42-9 over the four game series.
The Yankees left Boston tied for first, and the Curse of the Bambino lived on.
No. 4: Bucky Dent
Ah Bucky $%^ing Dent.
With the Red Sox leading 2-0 in the 1978 AL East playoff game, Bucky Dent smacked a clutch three run home run to give the Yankees a lead they would not relinquish.
The ironies of the feat include that Dent was not a power hitter, he it over the Green Monster and he was yet another Yankee that defeated the mighty Red Sox.
If that doesn’t spell cursed, I don’t know what does.
No. 3: The Black Cat
The Cubs have been a staple of futility in professional sports for the last 100 years.
On September 9, 1969, the Cubs were playing the Mets at Shea and fighting for the NL East crown when a black cat made its way to the Cubs on deck circle and paraded around it.
The Cubs would go on to lose the game, the series and the division, in what was probably their best shot to win the World Series until…
No. 2: Steve Bartman (Part 1)
Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS saw the Cubs take a commanding 3-0 lead thanks to a lights-out performance from Mark Prior, who had a shutout into the eighth.
If they could convert five more outs, they’d reach their first World Series in nearly a half-century.
Instead, Steve Bartman decided to interfere with Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball going into the stands.
Steve Bartman (Continued)
The At-Bat continued, and according to Wikipedia, here is what followed:
- Continuing his at bat, Castillo drew a walk. Ball four was a wild pitch from Prior, which allowed Pierre to advance to third base.
Iván Rodríguez singled to drive in the first run of the inning, making the score 3–1.
Miguel Cabrera hit a ground ball to Alex S. Gonzalez, who misfielded the ball. Had Gonzalez fielded the ball, the Cubs could have ended the half-inning with a double play, still ahead by two runs. Instead all runners were safe and the bases were loaded.
Derrek Lee doubled, tying the score and chasing Prior from the game.
Relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth issued an intentional walk to Mike Lowell, then gave up a sacrifice fly to Jeff Conine, giving Florida a 4–3 lead. Cubs rightfielder Sammy Sosa missed the cut-off man, allowing Lowell to move up to second base. This forced the Cubs to issue another intentional walk to Todd Hollandsworth which again loaded the bases.
- A bases-clearing double from Mike Mordecai broke the game open, making the score 7–3.
- Pierre singled to put Florida ahead 8–3.
- Finally Luis Castillo, whose foul popup initiated the controversy, popped out to second to end the inning. In total, the Marlins had sent twelve batters to the plate and scored eight runs. Florida won the game 8–3.
The next night, back at Wrigley Field, Florida overcame Kerry Wood and a 5–3 deficit to win 9–6, and win the pennant, and haven’t won a playoff game since the incident.
No. 1: Buckner
When we think of the Curse of the Bambino, we think of Bill Buckner.
With the Mets on the ropes in the 1986 World Series, Mookie Wilson grounded to Bill Buckner, who let the ball go between his legs and into right field.
The blunder cost the Sawx the game and eventually the series, as they would go on to lose Game 7.