Friday, April 10, 2015

Curses Again!

Yesterday we looked back fondly on the Curse Of The Bambino, which kept the Boston Red Sox from winning the World Series from 1919 - 2004...just because the Sox sold Babe Ruth to the stupid New York Yankees.

And I mentioned that my father was born in 1913, lived a long and happy 84 years, and in all the time the Chicago Cubs still haven't won the World Series since 1908. That's a long, long time.

Sianis's goat wets his whistle
They came close in 1945, but a curse was placed on them, one still known in The Windy City as The Curse Of The Billy Goat. Here's the deal: The owner of a bar in Chi, Billy Sianis, took his goat to a World Series ballgame with him that year.

I'll say that again, because it's a sentence you don't often read. The owner of a joint called the Billy Goat Tavern took a goat with him to a World Series game at Wrigley Field in 1945. He was invited to leave the park because other fans were complaining about the odor emanating from the goat. Sianis was enraged, as he and the goat made their way out of the ballpark, and said to all who could hear him over the goat's braying, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more."

And darned if they have! Sianis’s family maintains that he sent a telegram to team owner Philip K. Wrigley which read, “You are going to lose this World Series and you are never going to win another World Series again. You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat.”

Doublemint manufacturer Wrigley felt that this nonsense gummed up the works, and banned Sianis and friend from the cozy confines of his ballpark. Over the years, Cubs fans, members of the Sianis family, and droves of goats have attempted to do hex-busting procedures, but to no avail.

Bartman ruins everyone's evening

The Cubs did come close once again. In a playoff series between the Cubs and the Florida Marlins in 2003 at Wrigley Field, the Cubs were ahead late in game 6, and had a 3 games to 2 lead in the best of seven series. A Marlin hit a foul popup close to the stands, and Cub fan Steve Bartman reached for the ball, deflecting it away from the grasp of outfielder Mois├ęs Alou. This stopped Alou from making the second out of the inning, leaving the Cubs just four outs away from winning their first National League pennant since 1945. But, with the bad luck gates wide open, the Cubs gave up 8 runs in the inning, and lost the game, 8-3. And they lost the 7th and deciding game the next day, earning Bartman a spot in Fan Hell and round-the-clock security for a while.

So as this year's baseball season begins, Wrigley Field is under reconstruction, and the only cursing so far has been from fans who have had to wait 45 minutes to visit Tinkletown. It's always something.

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