The Curse of the Chicago Cubs is a well-known curse that plagued the Chicago Cubs for decades. Year after year, ever since a disgruntled tavern owner cast a curse on the team, the Cubs seemed doomed to loss after loss.
Learn about the Curse of the Billy Goat and the effect on the Cubs.
Origin Of The Billy Goat Curse
The Cubs enjoyed a winning streak, winning the 1907 pennant and a back-to-back pennant the following year. Then, after years of mediocre play, it seemed the Chicago Cubs were finally on their way towards winning the pennant and the World Series in 1945.
The Chicago Cubs played against the Tigers. Sports Illustrated points out that the Cubs won two out of the first three games. It looked like the Cubs might win the World Series. However, what happened during Game 4 supposedly cursed the Chicago Cubs, leading to loss after loss, year after year. It all happened because of a Greek tavern owner named Billy Sianis, nicknamed “Billy Goat.”
Sianis, the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, located a short distance away from the stadium, had two tickets to Game 4, played October 6, 1945. He thought it would bring the Chicago Cubs good luck if he brought along “Murphy,” his pet goat.
Details of what happened when Billy Sianis and Murphy arrived at Wrigley Field for Game 4 vary somewhat, according to which source you read. However, perhaps Sam Sianis, nephew of Billy Sianis and current owner of the “World famous” Billy Goat Tavern explains that his uncle arrived at the entrance gate. Ushers told him that he could not bring his goat in.
Billy Sianis then appealed to the Cubs owner, P.K. Wrigley. Wrigley’s response was that Billy Sianis could come in, “But not the goat.” Sianis argued back, “Why not the goat?” Once again, P.K. Wrigley responded, this time saying, “Because the goat stinks.”
Sianis became angry and cursed the Chicago Cubs, allegedly saying, “‘The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field.”
After Sianis left, the Cubs went on to lose Game 4. Even after a Game 6 victory, they lost the deciding game by a score of 9-3. Had the curse already started its wrath?
Enduring Devastating Loss
After the devastating loss to the Tigers, Billy Sianis sent a telegram to P.K. Wrigley, asking him “Who stinks now?” Indeed, the Cubs started losing every year.
NPR compares the Curse of the Cubs to the long-lasting alleged Curse of the Bambino after Babe Ruth was sold to long-time rivals, the Yankees.
Was The Curse Real?
Determining whether the curse was indeed real is a personal decision. However, many fans believe in the Curse of the Billy Goat. For the next twenty years, the remainder of the billy goat’s life, the Chicago Cubs suffered devastating losses. The unofficial slogan became, “Wait ’til next year.”
However, next year never seemed to come for the Cubs, as mysterious events seemed to keep the Cubs from advancing for a chance at the playoffs. In 1969, a black cat mysteriously wandered onto the playing field.
Over the years, the effect of the alleged curse became too much for some to bear. In 1994, after twelve straight losses, fans began chanting, “Let the goat in” as Sam Sianis was again denied entrance with an offspring of Murphy, in an attempt to lift the curse. This time, Hall of Famer, Ernie Banks escorted Sam and the new goat in. The Cubs won their game.
However, the curse prevailed until the 2016 World Series. It seems the curse finally lifted as the Chicago Cubs bested the Cleveland Indians to take the World Series pennant in an 8-7 victory.
Scientific American calls the Curse of the Billy Goat “scientifically impossible” to have affected the outcome of the games played over the years since Billy Sianis first afflicted the Cubs with the curse. Many people probably believe the curse over the “scientific” explanation.