|Wednesday, June 20
Updated: June 24, 4:19 PM ET
Fan summits Everest, burns Yankee cap
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox have tried high-priced free agents and late-season trades in their efforts to win their first World Series since 1918, and break the infamous Curse of the Bambino. Nothing has worked. So climber Paul Giorgio took things into his own hands, at the top of Mount Everest.
On the advice of a Tibetan Buddhist holy man, Giorgio, 37, left a Red Sox cap on Mount Everest's summit last month, then burned a New York Yankees cap, all in hopes of breaking the curse, said to have been set when the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.
So far it's working. The Red Sox are in first place in the American League East.
Giorgio, a real estate investor, grew up in Millbury and is a lifelong Red Sox fan. He's also a serious climber who was on the team that found Sir Edmund Hillary's highest camp from his 1953 ascent.
For his trip in May, Giorgio packed the Red Sox and Yankees caps among his 250 pounds of gear.
"At base camp, every team gets its gear blessed by the lama," Giorgio told The Boston Globe. "So I brought out the hats and asked the lama how I might break the Curse of the Bambino. I explained that it had to do with an American baseball team that hadn't won a championship since 1918. And the lama smiled and seemed to nod, as if he understood what I was talking about. Although who knows?"
The lama told Giorgio to pace the Sox cap next to the chorten, a stone altar where each climbing team burns juniper branches as an offering to the gods. Then he told Giorgio to carry the Sox cap to the summit and plant it at 29,028 feet, to reverse the curse.
After some scary moments -- Giorgio caught two climbers as they were in near free fall down the mountain -- he reached the summit on May 23. He planted the Red Sox cap with an American flag. At base camp two days later, he took the Yankees cap to the altar to burn it, and complete the cycle. It wouldn't catch fire at first.
"Fortunately, I found some kerosene," he said.