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It Was Never About the Babe

The Red Sox, Racism, Mismanagement, and the Curse of the Bambino

Published by Skyhorse
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

For years, Red Sox fans were told that their team was cursed because the Sox sold Babe Ruth to the hated Yankees. But as Jerry Gutlon reveals in It Was Never About the Babe, there is much more drama to Red Sox history than the “Curse of the Bambino.” The truth is more shocking than any myth.

With the thorough research of a seasoned journalist and the zeal of a lifelong Red Sox fan, Gutlon explains why the Sox came up short season after season: ownership chose managers and players not based on their talent, but on whom they drank with; before and after baseball integrated, personal and institutional racism affected their decision-making; and their teams consistently lacked the talent, leadership, chemistry, and luck needed to win championships.

Most fans don’t know that Babe Ruth was sold not just to produce a Broadway play, bust also because commissioner Ban Johnson was trying to run Sox owner Harry Frazee out of baseball and because Ruth was a major disruption in the Sox clubhouse. They will be surprised to learn that Jackie Robinson tried out at Fenway Park and shocked to learn that much-admired Tom Yawkey, along with owning the Red Sox, also owned a brothel for decades.

Covering the early Red Sox championship dynasty of Ruth, the never-good-enough teams of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Carlton Fisk and Curt Schilling, It Was Never About the Babe is an eye-opening read for every baseball fan, and a must-own book for every fan in Boston.