Red Sox fans have gone to great lengths to break the Curse of the Bambino. They pray. They buy Reverse the Curse ice cream and Break the Curse cookies, and for the past two years they've been trying to locate and raise a piano that Babe Ruth supposedly threw into a Sudbury, Mass., pond in 1918--the last year the Sox won the World Series and the year before Ruth was sold to the Yankees. It's all been in vain, but now some think they finally might be on to something. And all it took was a little blood.
At the Boston-Anaheim game on Aug. 31, Manny Ramirez crushed a foul ball into the rightfield stands at Fenway, hitting Lee Gavin, 16, in the face. (Before he was carted off in an ambulance, Gavin was given the ball.) So why are Sox fans so optimistic? Gavin lives at 558 Dutton Road in Sudbury--better known as the House that Ruth Bought, where the Bambino lived from 1916 until '26. Bostonians hope this Karmic connection with Ruth means the ball that knocked out two of Gavin's teeth--since replaced--also KO'd the curse that has vexed the team for 86 years. Don't scoff. On the night Gavin was hit, Boston won 10-7 and the Indians handed the Yankees their worst defeat ever, 22-0.
DOMINIC CHAVEZ/THE BOSTON GLOBE (GAVIN)