Go Cubs Go: Cubs Win The World Series
December 6, 2016
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In the words of famous Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray, “Hello again, everybody. It’s a bee-yooo-tiful day for baseball.” Indeed it was for those lovable losers from the north side of Chicago as they have broken the famed Curse of the Billygoat cast upon them in 1945, winning their first championship since 1908, a 108-year dry spell.
One of the original teams of professional baseball, the Chicago Cubs enjoyed loads of success in the first few decades of the 20th-century, winning two World Series titles in 1907 and 1908, as well as multiple National League pennants. However, a curse seemed to be cast upon them during the 1945 World Series when tavern owner William Sianis wanted to bring his pet goat, Murphy, to one of the ball games. This was unsuccessful, however, and Sianis famously said “You are going to lose this World Series and you are never going to win another World Series again. You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat.” Thus the legendary billy goat curse began.
The curse rang true as the Cubs continued to make the playoffs but always seemed to find a way to lose before reaching the World Series. While some attributed it to the curse, others attributed it to poor ownership and management which led to the Cubs being known as the “lovable losers of baseball.”
All of this curse talk came to a head in 2003 during the National League Championship Series, when the Cubs, coming back to Wrigley holding a 3-2 lead, appeared to have the title clinched with a 3-0 lead heading into the 8th inning. Just then, a Florida Marlins player hit a foul ball into the crowd, but the wind pushed the ball forward. Right fielder Moises Alou appeared to have it caught to end the inning; however, now-infamous Cubs fan Steve Bartman put his hand over Alou’s glove to catch the ball, costing the team the game. The usually nice Cubs fans turned on Bartman, and he had to be escorted out of Wrigley by security and has remained in hiding since the incident. The Marlins, beat the Cubs 8-3 in Game 6 and beat the Cubs in game 7, and went to the World Series. The Cubs, once again, did not.
Chicago went through mediocrity and rebuilding for the remainder of the 2000s, but their fortunes turned around when they hired Theo Epstein, who famously rebuilt the Red Sox into perennial contenders. Epstein focused on building up the farm system, and all of that transmitted to finding great players such as Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Jake Arrieta. Using their young core and signing veterans who can mentor this young team, such as David Ross and Jon Lester, the Cubs went on to beat the 94-67 Indians in seven games at Progressive field in Cleveland.