SUDBURY, Mass. — All Red Sox fans know the story about the Curse of the Bambino: when Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees. It took 86 years for the Red Sox to win a World Series after Ruth left. The Curse of the Bambino is what most Red Sox fans will tell you when you bring up the 86 years with no championships. But in 2004, that all changed.
Legend has it, when Lee Gavin was 16 years old, he went to a Red Sox game.
“That same night it was full moon, Yankees lost 22-0 to the Rays at home,” Gavin said.
Gavin was sitting with his friends along the right-field line.
“Manny Ramirez, my favorite player, he hit a sliced foul ball. I walked up a couple of rows. I had my hands in front of me, and [it] just came in a lot faster than you thought,” Gavin said.
Gave still has the ball that hit him and took out his two front teeth.
“My friends had to run back find my other tooth under the seats. And they came back and put them in as much as they could, and it actually worked out well,” Gavin said.
But you should also know an important fact.
“At that time, I did live in Babe Ruth’s house,” Gavin said.
Right after Gavin’s two front teeth were knocked out while living in Babe Ruth’s old house in Sudbury, the Red Sox plowed right on through to win their first World Series, even coming back after being down three games in the ALCS against the Yankees.
“86 years, they finally won the World Series,” Gavin said.
There is no official connection between what happened to Gavin and the Red Sox win in 2004, but everyone agrees Red Sox history took quite a turn after that night.
“Being a Red Sox fan my whole life, knowing all about Babe Ruth, you start to believe in that curse, so you just want it to end. We got so close so many years, so we just wanted it to end,” Gavin said.
Gavin still loves taking in Sox games, and the family has a memorial brick in right field. Now he hopes his teeth help the Sox clinch another championship. Gavin did end up meeting Manny Ramirez.
“He said, ‘oh you’re the guy that I happened to hit in the face,’” Gavin recalled.
When asked if Manny apologized, Gavin said: “Yeah, he did, of course.”
Gavin and his family have since moved out of Babe Ruth’s house. But Gavin says fear not because the Red Sox have won more championships since they moved.
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