The Friday after the Red Sox clinched the World Series by beating the St. Louis Cardinals in a four-game sweep, the MIT dome was mysteriously transformed into a baseball with red stitching and a Red Sox logo.
That same day, Oct. 29, one Ben Bitdiddle circulated a tongue-in-cheek scientific paper via the Internet providing a mathematical explanation for the Red Sox victory, which marked the end of the Curse of the Bambino. The paper "1918-2004: A Hybrid-'Sigh' Analysis of Reversing the Curse" was attributed to students in the so-called MIT Department of Legends and Hexes in Room 6-666. The irrefutable mathematical proof follows.
"The Boston Red Sox last won the world championship of baseball, the World Series, in 1918. In 1920 they sold George Herman Ruth, a.k.a. 'Babe Ruth,' a.k.a. 'The Bambino' to the New York Yankees for $100,000.
"Since that time the Red Sox have been unsuccessful at clinching a world championship title. The Yankees however proceeded to write the greatest success story in baseball history. This ironic twist of fate has come to be known as the Curse of the Bambino, which has prevented Red Sox victory for 86 years, until 2004.
"Is this a coincidence? The researchers here at the Department of Legends and Hexes believe that it is not. We have found conclusive numerical evidence that, in fact, the curse did exist, and that its influence has expired. This brings in a new era of Red Sox domination and Yankee demise.
"The Red Sox last won the World Series in 1918, they were last in the World Series in 1986. There are 86 years between 1918 and 2004. There are 18 years between 1986 and 2004.
"As is such with phenomenon of the paranormal, one can clearly see that this cross-checking analysis is indisputable proof that the 86-18 hybrid cancellation theorem holds. Go Sox."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 3, 2004 (download PDF).