-By, Sam Goldenson
The Major League Baseball season has finally come to close with a nail-biting World Series Win by the Chicago Cubs. Going into the 2016 World Series, the Indians and the Cubs had not seen World Series’ victories for their teams in several decades. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, the Indians had not made an appearance in the World Series since 1997, and have not won the series since 1948. Their losing streak seemed somewhat insignificant to that of the Chicago Cubs, who had not won a title since 1908. Over the years, baseball fans have developed theories as to why their favorite team isn’t winning; Red Sox fans may be familiar with “The Curse of the Bambino,” a superstition that was developed in 1919 when Babe Ruth was traded and cursed the Red Sox. Superstitions surrounding the long-standing unlucky stretches for the Cubs and Indians have also arisen, however this year’s World Series win by the Cubs has made fans wonder: has the curse been reversed?
The Curse of the Billy Goat is a long standing superstition that was seemingly placed upon the Chicago Cubs in 1945, causing them to not play in a World Series for almost 71 years. Tavern owner William Sianis was asked to leave Wrigley Field because of the odor of his pet goat, Murphy, for whom he had bought a ticket. Outraged, Sianis exclaimed that “them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” which has been interpreted as either the Cubs will never win another National League Pennant or World Series title. In an attempt get rid of the curse, the Cubs invited descendants of both Sianis and Murphy to Wrigley, where Sianis’ nephew announced that “the curse is lifted.” When that proved unsuccessful, the 2008 Cubs invited a priest to spread holy water across the home dugout. However, The Curse of the Billy Goat finally came to an end in 2016 when, ironically, on the 46th anniversary of Sianis’ death, the Cubs won the National League Pennant and advanced to the World Series and eventually ended up winning the World Series.
The Indians still have their own curse to deal with. The curse of Rocky Colavito was started before the Indians’ 1960 season when slugger Rocky Colavito was traded to the Detroit Tigers. This trade was shocking because Colavito was popular amongst fans and had hit 42 home runs in the previous season. Unfortunately, the Indians went from 89-65 in 1959 to 76-78 in 1960. The curse was given its name in 1994 when author Terry Pluto wrote the book, “The Curse of Rocky Colavito: A Loving Look at a Thirty-Year Slump” about the Indians’ decline. The now retired player doesn’t mind the attention, saying “I never put any curse on them, I never did anything like that. I always hope that they do well.” Of course, the Indians’ place in the World Series was earned when they won the Pennant; players and fans alike assumed the curse was broken.
Hammond H. ’18 comments, “I feel like these two teams have been a little bit of a joke in baseball because of their respective curses, but this world series definitely validates the fans for both teams, even though technically only the Cubs won.” The Cubs’ win earlier this November has many celebrating the end of the Curse of the Billy Goat. As for those in Cleveland, only time will tell if another World Series appearance is enough to break the curse.