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“Since 1919, when the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees, the Yankees had won the World Series twenty-six times. The Red Sox had not won it once during that time.” –Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse
Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse
Totally True Adventures
by David A. Kelly
Babe Ruth was a star on the Boston Red Sox. He pitched like a dream and slammed home run after home run. But Babe Ruth was also trouble. So in 1919, the Red Sox sold him to one of baseball’s worst teams, the New York Yankees.
With Babe Ruth, the Yankees became legendary champions. And the Red Sox? They seemed cursed. Every time they made it to the World Series, they lost. Could the Red Sox ever put Babe Ruth’s baseball curse to rest?
Both sports fans and non-sports fans will find Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse interesting. Throughout the book, Kelly does an excellent job defining baseball lingo and explaining the significance of events. For example, in 1915, Ruth hit four home runs. “Four might not sound like a lot, but the entire team only hit ten home runs that year!” Even though there is some play-by-play baseball action, snippets of Babe’s personal life are integrated into the story and will keep non-sports fans flipping the pages as well.
Babe Ruth isn’t portrayed as a perfect person and the book doesn’t shy away from Babe’s terrible behavior. However, the author’s note explains that Ruth acknowledged that he was a “bad kid. Ruth tells readers this not so that they will imitate him, but so that they can understand him. He wants us to know that people (like him) can learn from their mistakes and still do great things.”
Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse uses short chapters and easy vocabulary which makes the book accessible to young readers. Large black and white illustrations appear every 3 to 7 pages and show the players in action. While the book is easy enough for young fluent readers, the content will be interesting to older readers too.
Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse makes reading non-fiction fun. The book is full of interesting facts about both Babe Ruth and the Red Sox. Despite this, readers do not need to know a lot about baseball in order to enjoy the book. Whether you’re looking for a book to do research or just want to learn more about the Red Sox, Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse would be an excellent book to read. Kelly explains all of the reasons some people believed the Red Sox were cursed but doesn’t give his own opinion. In the end, the reader must determine for themselves, did Babe Ruth curse the Red Sox?
- When Barrow, Babe’s coach, came to his hotel room to see if Babe was in bed, “Babe Ruth exploded. They couldn’t tell him what to do! If Barrow ever came into his hotel room again, he would punch him in the nose!”
- During a Red Sox game against the Yankees, A-Rod was “saying angry things to the pitcher. Boston’s catcher, Jason Varitek quickly tried to calm A-Rod down. . . Varitek had had enough. Out of nowhere, he took his big leather catcher’s mitt and stuffed it in A-Rod’s face. . . Players began fighting.”
- During a game, Gavin, one of the fans, tried to catch a home run ball. The “ball smashed into his face! Thunk. Blood splattered everywhere! The ball knocked out Gavin’s two front teeth.”
- During a game between the Red Sox and the Yankees, the fans were upset and “they threw cups and trash onto the field!” Riot police came and “knelt down along the sidelines in their blue uniforms and helmets.” After that, the fans calmed down.
Drugs and Alcohol
- “. . .Babe Ruth was wild. He ate and drank too much.”