Tumultuous 1919 Season Marks Beginning of Red Sox’ 86-Year Championship Drought

Editor’s note: Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912. NESN.com will be celebrating Fenway’s 100-year anniversary with unique content from now until April 20, 2012.

After being crowned champions of the baseball world in 1918, Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox quickly began a downward spiral the following season.

The Sox failed to maintain championship form in 1919, dragging to a 66-71 record, the team's first sub-.500 mark since 1908. Poor performance on the field was coupled with unrest in the clubhouse, exemplified by an incident on July 13 when pitcher Carl Mays walked out of a game because he was unhappy with his fielders.

The 1919 season was also the final season for Ruth in Boston. After hitting a league-record 29 home runs, the Great Bambino was famously sold to the New York Yankees by Red Sox owner Harry Frazee. Ruth went on to lead New York to four World Series titles. The trade, of course, also triggered the curse that led to the Red Sox' 86-year championship drought.

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