Da Curse of the Billy Goat, The Chicago Cubs, Pennant Races, and Curses

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9780972091046: Da Curse of the Billy Goat, The Chicago Cubs, Pennant Races, and Curses
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The Story of "Da Curse of the Billy Goat."

On October 6, 1945, William "Billy Goat" Sianis, a Greek immigrant who owned a nearby tavern, came to Wrigley Field with two box seat tickets for the fourth game of the 1945 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. One ticket was for himself and the other was for his pet goat Murphy. A squad of usher at the stadium failed to keep Sianis and his pet billy goat out of the ball park. Once inside the stadium, Sianis took the goat onto the playing field, causing an uproar from the crowd before ushers intervened to end the stunt.

After a heated argument, Sianis and the animal were allowed to occupy the box seat for which he had tickets. Sianis and his goat were ejected from the stadium, however, prior to the end of the game at the command of Cubs owner Philip Knight Wrigley, reportedly because of the animal s objectionable odor. Sianis was outraged by the ejection, and in response, he placed a curse upon the Cubs that they would never another pennant of play in a World Series. The Cubs eventually lost the 1945 World Series when they were soundly beaten in game seven. After the loss, Sianis sent a telegram to Wrigley that read, "Who Smells Now?"

With the passage of time and repetitive losing seasons, the Curse of the Billy Goat gradually became an urban legend in Chicago. The late-season collapse of the 1969 Cubs, and the postseason collapses of the 1984, 1989, and 2003 Cubs continue to torment fans. Each time the Cubs fail to reach the World Series, the hex is blamed. No other team in baseball history has gone longer without winning a championship or pennant.

Today, the Curse of the Billy Goat has found a permanent place in baseball lore as one of the most famous sports curses of all time, and it is inextricably intertwined with the history of the Chicago Cubs.

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About the Author:

Steve Gatto is an attorney who resides in Lansing, Michigan, home of the Chicago Cubs Class A affiliate the Lansing Lugnuts. He is the author of several non-fiction books including "The Real Wyatt Earp" (2000), "Johnny Ringo," and "Curly Bill, Tombstone s Most Famous Outlaw."

Steve was raised in Tucson, Arizona, where he was an avid baseball fan from an early age who would watch Pacific Coast League games during the season and Major League games in the off-season. Like many Cubs fans, Steve s interest in the Chicago Cubs was passed down from his father, who would watch the Cubbies daily on WGN throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

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