The Curse of the Bambino

By Dan Shaughnessy

For personal reasons, there are three Red Sox books I have never read: Rocket Man by Peter Gammons, and Dan Shaughnessy’s One Strike Away and Curse of the Bambino. The other day, on the way home from a Sox game, I dropped in on the Watertown Public Library’s annual book sale, which was held on the library’s front lawn. It was late afternoon, and the woman in charge said the sale was actually over, and any books left over were free. Free books! As I went through the cardboard boxes I came upon a hardbound first edition (not a library copy) of The Curse. I will admit that I chuckled to find this famous masterpiece sunk to such pitiful circumstances. I picked up it and brought it home with a clear conscience.
Partial list of errors:
p. 21 Roger Angell quote, “…guilt and wailing”  should be  “guilt and whaling.”
p. 23 Royal Roosters       Royal Rooters
p. 45 amateur Twilight League       semi-pro Twilight League
p. 49 [Joe Cronin] faced a television camera     a newsreel camera  (it was 1935)
p. 55 The Globe’s Jerry Nelson      Jerry Nason
p. 62 Hal Waner       Hal Wagner
p. 62 Boo Ferris       Boo Ferriss
p. 83 Galehouse barely made the team in 1948, pitched once…  1949, pitched twice
Most revealing passage:
[p. 172] At Shea there was a postgame reception for baseball executives and the national media after Game 6. American League director of public relations Phyllis Merhige, like her boss Dr. Brown, was very despondent over the loss and was stunned to see pockets of Boston reporters laughing and slapping each other on the back. The Sox are something of a self-fulfilling prophecy in Boston, and some members of the fourth estate take lugubrious delight in the continuation of the sad Sox saga.
Near tears, Merhige approached the group and asked, “How can you be so happy after what just happened?”
“Are you kidding,” replied Vince Doria, sports editor of the Globe. “This is the greatest.”

Nuf  ced.

— Reviewed by David Nevard (1994)

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