The Yankees have beaten the Boston Red Sox six to five in the seventh and final game of the American League Championship Series to secure a place in the World Series. The "Curse of the Bambino" lives on for another year.
A popular myth around Yankee Stadium says that ever since the Boston Red Sox traded famous slugger Babe Ruth, sometimes called "The Bambino," to the Yankees, the Boston team has been cursed. The Red Sox haven't won a World Series since 1918.
Thursday night, the Yankees gave more weight to the myth as they toppled the Red Sox again, snatching the lead with a home run in the eleventh inning and dashing Boston's dream of making it to the World Series.
The Yankees' Aaron Boone hit the ball that won the game. He says teammate Derek Jeter told him the ghosts - as in the ghost of Babe Ruth - would look out for the Yankees.
"I was sitting over there tonight and it wasn't looking good and the bullpen came in and held them. We just pecked away. Like Derek told me the ghosts will show up eventually and they did, man,"
But nothing about the Yankees' 6-5 win came easy.
For most of the final game of the championship series, it didn't look good for New York. Boston jumped out to an early lead. Trot Nixon hit a two-run home run in the second inning. With the help of another home run by Boston's Kevin Millar, the Red Sox added two more runs by the end of the fourth.
The 26-time World Champions struggled to come back from the four-run deficit. New York finally scored in the fifth inning, when Jason Giambi hit a solo home run, bringing the score to 4-1.
Giambi homered again in the seventh, but it wasn't until the eighth inning that the Yankees were able to erase the Red Sox's lead with a set of well-timed hits that evened the score at 5-5.
The game ran into extra innings, and Boone's home run at the bottom of the eleventh was a welcome surprise to teammate Bernie Williams.
"I definitely thought he hit it good. We have them if the ball goes out. It was a just great finish to a great game. Probably the best game I ever played," he said.
The Yankees now advance to the World Series for the sixth time in eight years under manager Joe Torre, who was in tears as he walked out on the field to congratulate his players after the win.
"I can't keep from crying, I know that right now," he said.
The Yankees will face the Florida Marlins in the World Series. Game 1 begins Saturday at Yankee Stadium.