The Curse of the Billy Goat

Ryan Lombardi, Sports Editor

The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 1907, sweeping the Detroit Tigers four games to none. The following season they would defeat the Tigers once more in the World Series, this time winning four games to one. For years after, the Cubs dominated the league, winning the pennant six times over 28 years and continuing to finish on top of the standings every year. That is, until the team’s luck ran out. 

It was the 1945 season, and the Cubs had won the National League pennant with a record of 98–56, three games ahead of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals. They were set to play against the Detroit Tigers once again. The Cubs took Game 1, making a statement and winning 9-0. They would drop Game 2, but pick back up at Game 3, winning 3-0. It was time for the series to move to Chicago, with the Cubs leading the series two games to one, and the players and fans feeling good. 

  The Cubs were set to host game four up in the series two games to one. Cubs fans were excited to attend the game on October 6th, 1945. Two avid fans in particular were William “Billy Goat” Sianis, the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, and his pet goat, Murphy. He bought two tickets; one for each of them. Murphy was denied entry at the gate, the ushers told Billy Goat that he could enter, but the goat could not. He even appealed to the team’s owner PK Wrigley. Wrigley’s response? “The goat stinks.” As Billy Goat and Murphy left the stadium, Billy yelled, “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!”  

The Chicago Cubs were cursed forevermore. They would end up dropping Game 4 by a score of 4-1 and Game 5 8-4. The curse was coming true. The Tigers were one game away from taking the World Series from the Cubs on their own field! Game 6 was a thriller. The game would go 12 innings tied at 7 all. Finally, the Cubs were able to break through with two             outs to score the winning run, tying the series at 3 games each. Maybe the Cubs were not cursed after all.

Game 7. Winner takes all. Would the Cubs win it all or would they let the curse officially come true? The Tigers came out determined from the start, scoring 5 runs in the first inning and the game would continue to be run by The Tigers. The Tigers won 9-3, winning the 1945 World Series. 

The Curse of the Billy Goat officially came true. The Cubs would not go to another World Series for the next 71 years. Over those years the Cubs became the “loveable losers” They were doomed. In 1984 they even invited Billy and Murphy back to the stadium for opening day to try to lift the curse. They were finally able to walk on Wrigley Field and Billy Goat even lifted his hat and shouted,  “The curse is lifted!” Even though the fans rallied behind the Billy Goat, his promise would fall short when the Cubs lost to the San Diego Padres in the NLCS 2 games shy of making it back to the World Series. Maybe the grass wasn’t tasty enough for Murphy. 

Finally, in 2016, the Cubs would make their first World Series appearance since 1945. They would take on the Cleveland Indians in a Best of 7 series. The Cubs would go down early in the series, three games to one. All the doubts were on the Cubs, the curse seemed to carry on. But, against all odds, the Cubs would come back and tie the series 3 games each at home.  They were set to play a game 7 in Cleveland at Progressive Field. 

In one of the wildest baseball games ever played, the Cubs would become victorious, finally breaking their 108 year drought in a 10 inning thriller full of late comebacks and rain delays. The curse of the Billy Goat was finally broken.