“Who Stinks Now?”
By Maria Thomas, Staff Writer
As the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs battle for the 2016 World Series, millions of baseball fans have gathered with friends and family to watch America’s favorite pastime.
Any baseball fan can tell you why this World Series is so unusual and exciting. While the Indians have not won a World Series since 1948, there is one other team that has survived an even longer victory drought; the Chicago Cubs.
In their early years, the Cubs were fantastic. In 1906, they won a startling 116 games, and in 1907 they won their first World Series. With another World Series won in 1908, they became the only team in baseball history to win two championships back-to-back. However, the last time the Cubs won a World Series was 1908.
When the Cubs made it to the World Series in 1945, it seemed like they might have a chance to turn their losing streak around, but the results were anything but favorable. On October 6, 1945, the Cubs entered the fourth game of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers at Wrigley Field. Having already won 2 out of the potential seven games, the Cubs only needed two more wins to take the title.
When owner of the local Billy Goat Tavern and baseball junkie William “Billy Goat” Sinais purchased two tickets to the game, he and his pet Billy Goat, Murphy, marched onto the Cub’s home turf. Stopped by two ushers, William was told animals were prohibited from entering the park. Curious as to why he couldn’t bring his good luck charm to the game, William appealed directly to Mr. Philip K. Wrigley, owner of Wrigley field
According to the Billy Goat Tavern’s website, Wrigley replied “Because the goat stinks.”.
William was furious, and throwing his arms in the air, he exclaimed, “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.”
It was on this day that the Cubs were cursed.
Chicago’s favorite team not only lost game four, but also the 1945 World Series. William immediately sent a telegram to Wrigley that read “Who Stinks Now?”
From their origins as the “Chicago White Stockings” in 1876 to their unfortunate loss in 1945, the Cubs had been one of Major League Baseball’s most successful teams, with 51 winning seasons, 16 first place finishes, and 16 pennants and World Series appearances.
However, according to the Billy Goat Tavern’s website, “From 1946 to 2003, the Cubs would…have only 15 winning seasons, finish in first place a mere 3 times, have no pennants, and no World Series appearances let alone wins, resulting in a complete reversal of their fortunes. The Cubs were and are a cursed franchise.”
Tune in to Fox Sports at 5:00pm to see which one of these underdog teams takes home the championship ring.
If the Cubs win, is the curse dispelled? Did it even exist? Or have baseball’s “lovable losers” just failed for over a century?