Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Turns Fatal

In March of this year, a group of Red Sox fans allegedly beat a Yankees fan outside a Central Square bar in Cambridge, Mass., before fleeing on foot. The victim, targeted specifically because of his Yankees hat, had to be transported to a local hospital for medical treatment, according the Cambridge Chronicle.

The long-standing rivalry was initially blamed for a fight outside a Yonkers, N.Y., Ramada Inn in October 2007 that left one Red Sox fan badly beaten and resulted in the arrest of two men. In that case, authorities in New York tried to beat back reports that team loyalty triggered the fight. A Red Sox spokesman at the time said the beaten man would receive a free ticket to a Red Sox game.

In another less violent but impassioned recent episode, contractors tore up part of the new Yankee stadium after learning that a Red Sox fan working on the Bronx project had inserted a David Ortiz jersey under two feet of concrete in hopes that that the clutch Red Sox slugger's presence would hex the Yankees when they move into their new home next season. The jersey ended up raising $175,000 for the Jimmy Fund, a cancer research charity.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are two of the oldest and most popular franchises in Major League Baseball. The New York Yankees have won 26 world championships, while the Red Sox have won seven. The Red Sox, however, are the reigning champs and also won the title in 2004. The Yankees last won a championship in 2000.

Prior to the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series, the team suffered through an 86-year lull without a championship thanks to what fans called the "Curse of the Bambino," a reference to the team's 1920 decision to sell legendary slugger Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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