The Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions.
Those words haven't been uttered in nearly 86 years, one of the longest championship droughts in professional sports history.
By defeating the St. Louis Cardinals one of their World Series nemeses the Red Sox also exorcised the ghost of Babe Ruth. In the past, the dreaded "Curse of the Bambino" had always found brutal ways to snatch baseball's championship from Boston's beloved Old Towne Team.
Not this time. There were no Johnny Pesky-like blunders, Bill Buckner-like bungles or Bucky Dent-like homers for the long-suffering Red Sox Nation to endure.
Signs that this was the Red Sox's year were there before the World Series even started. After dispatching the Anaheim Angels in the playoff's first round, the Sox accomplished the unthinkable. Boston made baseball history, rallying from a 0-3 series deficit to defeat the New York Yankees.
The win simultaneously gave the Red Sox their first American League pennant since 1986, humiliated the hated Yankees and dealt a blow to the hex that's plagued Boston since 1918.
Against the Cardinals they looked like a team of destiny. The Sox's pitching was superior, their hitting timely and their errors weren't so costly.
Baseball's gods, it seems, finally forgave the Red Sox.
Babe Ruth as a member of the Boston Red Sox. (CP Photo)
The Curse of the Bambino
Back in baseball's infancy, the Boston Red Sox were a powerhouse. In 1918, they won their 5th World Series, the most by any club at the time.
One of their up-and-coming stars at the time was a young man named George Herman Ruth.
Ruth, who is better known by his nickname 'the Babe', was used almost exclusively as a pitcher early in his career, but made the conversion to big-league slugger in 1918.
Ruth quickly established himself as one of the game's top hitters, compiling a .322 average with 114 RBIs and a then-record 29 home runs in 1919.
It was his last season in a Red Sox uniform.
On Jan. 3, 1920, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000 in cash and a $300,000 loan so he could finance a play called 'No, No, Nanette.'
Since that deal, rumours of a Ruth curse have haunted the Red Sox. Before their historic victory over the Cardinals, Boston had appeared in the World Series four times since 1920, losing each one in Game 7.
Boston's brutal playoff history
1920 - 1921
In his first two seasons with the Yankees, Ruth smashes 113 homers.
April 2, 1923
After playing at the Polo Grounds, New York opens the doors on Yankee Stadium. Babe Ruth hits the stadium's first homer in a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox.
Oct. 15, 1923
New York wins its first World Series.
1923 - 1932
The Red Sox evolve from perennial winner to loser. They finish last in the American League in every season but two.
May 30, 1935
Ruth plays his final game as a member of the Boston Braves. He's inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame in 1936 and, in the eyes of many of the game's historians, he's still the greatest player ever.
The Red Sox reach the World Series, but lose in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals. Boston shortstop Johnny Pesky is blamed for allowing the winning run to score when, with two outs out in the eighth inning, he holds onto the ball on a relay throw.
1936 - 1962
The Yankees assert themselves as baseball's powerhouse, winning 16 championships.
On the last game of the regular season, Roger Maris hits his 61st homer of the year breaking Ruth's record against the Red Sox.
Oct. 12, 1967
A magical season turns soar. One year after they finished ninth, the Red Sox capture the American League pennant on the last day of the season. But they can't find a way to beat Bob Gibson (three complete-game wins) in the World Series and lose in seven games.
Oct. 21, 1975
A memorable moment in franchise history. Tied 6-6 in the 12th inning, catcher Carlton Fisk uses a little body English to persuade a ball back into fair territory for a walk-off homer in Game 6 of the World Series.
Oct. 22, 1975
The Red Sox blow a 3-0 in Game 7 to lose the World Series to the Reds.
Oct. 2, 1978
The Red Sox watch a 14-game lead on the New York Yankees evaporate in the regular season, but hang on to force a one-game playoff for the American League pennant. Leading 2-0 in the seventh, the Red Sox can only watch as the light-hitting Bucky Dent smacks a homer barely over the Green Monster to give the Yanks a 3-2 lead. The Yanks win the game 5-4 and go on to win the World Series.
Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner boots a ball against the New York Mets in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series on Oct. 25 in New York. (CP Photo)
Oct. 25, 1986
A moment that persuaded many Red Sox fans the legitimacy of 'The Curse.' Up two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning and just one out away from their first championship since 1918, the Red Sox watch as the Mets tie up the game on three straight singles and a wild pitch. The Mets complete the comeback when Mookie Wilson's routine grounder slips under Bill Buckner's glove, scoring Ray Knight.
Oct. 27, 1986
The Mets rally from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Red Sox in Game 7 of the World Series.
Sept. 9, 1988
Former Boston pitcher Dennis Eckersley records all four saves as the Oakland A's sweep the Red Sox in the ACLS.
Aug. 31, 1990
Red Sox general manager Lou Gorman trades Jeff Bagwell, a future MVP and Hall of Famer, to the Houston Astros for Larry Andersen.
Oct. 10, 1990
The Oakland A's sweep the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS for the second time in three years.
Oct. 3, 1995
Boston extends its playoff winless streak to 11 games when the Cleveland Indians win four straight in the American League division series
Dec. 13, 1996
Roger Clemens leaves the Red Sox and signs with the Toronto Blue Jays. Clemens tears up the league over the next two seasons, going 41-13 in capturing back-to-back Cy Young Awards. He becomes the first AL pitcher to win pitching's Triple Crown since 1945.
Oct. 27, 1999
Clemens, now pitching with the New York Yankees, helps eliminate the Red Sox on his way to capturing his first world championship ring.
Oct. 16, 2003
Leading 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 7 of the ACLS, manager Grady Little makes a crucial mistake and leaves Pedro Martinez in, although the ace is clearly struggling. The Yanks score three runs to tie the game and advance to the World Series on Aaron Boone's walk-off homer in the 11th inning.