Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The Black Sox.

The Great Bambino.

The Billy Goat.

What do these three things have in common?

Well, for starters, all three are associated with extraordinarily cursed Major League Baseball teams.

And…

After this past Wednesday, the last of these three teams have finally managed to break their curses.

After only 108 years, the Curse of the Billy Goat is finally broken!

Just like it had been predicted in Back to the Future II, only off by a year, with its 2015 win prediction.

(Actually, this discrepancy can probably be accounted for by the baseball strike of 1994.)

Not too shabby.

Anyway…

The Chicago Cubs managed to beat out the Cleveland Indians in game 7, in an epic 10 inning roller coaster ride.

And so it is the Cleveland Indians themselves who now hold the record for the longest World Series dry streak, as they have not managed to win since 1948.

That’s right, a mere 68 years of not winning now puts them atop the longest championship drought in MLB.

Congratulations, Indians!

You may not have gotten the ultimate prize of a World Series win, but you now hold another equally prestigious record!

No?

Okay, fine.

Maybe your team is finally next in line for the big win.

It could happen.

Just take a look at these other teams who managed to (eventually) break the curses bestowed upon them long ago:

For the 1919 World Series, featuring The Chicago White Sox vs the Cincinnati Reds, it was believed that the series had been thrown by Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven of his teammates.

All eight of those young men supposedly received $5,000 a piece in exchange for allowing a Reds Victory.

All eight of those young men, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, were subsequently banned for life after the 1920 season.

The Chicago White Sox didn’t see another World Series victory for 87 years, when they finally managed to win again in 2005.

Now here’s a thought…

If Shoeless Joe didn’t need the money so desperately, he probably would’ve been decked out in the coolest kicks of the early 1900s, instead of putzing around barefoot.

Can you really blame the guy?

Oh well.

What matters now is that the Black Sox scandal curse is now a thing of the past.

On to the Great Bambino.

When Babe Ruth got sold off to the New York Yankees in 1919, the Boston Red Sox had already won 5 World Series titles, while the Yankees hadn’t won a single one.

Division aside, no wonder this rivalry is so strong.

Who would’ve guessed that the stumbling drunken Babe Ruth would be such a hot commodity?

He would show up to games drunk, and his physique was proof that fitness obviously wasn’t much of a prerequisite in athletics back in the day.

But man, he could hit a ball!

Oh, and he apparently dropped a curse, to boot.

An 83 year championship drought ensued, as the Red Sox didn’t win another one until 2004, by which time the Yankees had racked up 26 of their 27 World Series wins.

Proof that karma can be such a bitch sometimes.

Moving right along…

During the 1945 World Series, where the Chicago Cubs faced off against the Detroit Tigers, Cubs fan Billy Sianis (owner of the Billy Goat Tavern) came to the game with his pet goat.

Just like he’d done at every other game, all year long.

But this time around, people around him complained about the goat’s smell and Sianis was more or less told by Wrigley officials to either take the goat away or get out.

He ended up leaving and sending a telegram to the Cubs, reportedly declaring, “Them Cubs, they aren’t gonna win no more.”

The Cubs proceeded to lose the next three games in the series to the Detroit Tigers, and so Sianis sent Wrigley a telegram asking “Who smells now?”

Since then, the Cubs’ sad, sad legacy has become legendary, coming close but never winning (or even reaching) the Series.

Until just a few days ago.

Finally!

Come on, guys.

Was this nonsense really worth a drought that lasted more than a century?

Nobody should have had to go an entire lifetime without their favorite team winning at least once.

In the future, just let all the pet goats, pigs, cows, zebras, giraffes, and hippos in.

It’s simply not worth the risk!

Besides, how could they have been so sure that it was the goat they were smelling, and not some stinky teenager?

Have you ever taken a whiff of a teenage boy’s bedroom?

I rest my case.

(Side note: There’s clearly something about Chicago. Not only had both Chicago baseball teams been jinxed, but so have the NFL Chicago Bears, what with the correlation of the disbanding of the Honey Bears cheerleaders in 1985 and the fact that the Bears haven’t won a Super Bowl since. Very interesting, indeed.)

Now, let’s get back to those Cleveland Indians:

The Cleveland Indians are known for their Curse of Rocky Colavito, which supposedly prevents the Indians from winning.

Its origin is traced back to the trade of right fielder Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers in 1960, in general manager Frank Lane’s attempt to end Colavito’s salary demands.

While the Indians won the American League championship in 1995, 1997, and 2016, they ended up losing all three World Series.

In fact, they haven’t won a single World Series since 1948.

For his part, Colavito has denied placing the curse.

And so the curse continues, only with the Cleveland Indians now proudly holding the new dry streak record in MLB.

With the Cubs finally breaking free from the confines of a cursed past, the longest championship drought in professional sports now officially belongs to:

Drumroll, please…

The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals! 

The Cardinals’ drought dates back to Chicago. They won the NFL championship in 1947, when they had beaten the Philadelphia Eagles 28-21.

And they haven’t won since.

They had moved from Chicago to St. Louis and St. Louis to Arizona, and still managed to go decades without any postseason success.

You see, the poor Cardinals have been suffering a curse at the hands of the citizens of Pottsville, Pennsylvania for undeservedly claiming the 1925 NFL championship from the Pottsville Maroons.

The Maroons were stripped of their title by the NFL in one of the greatest controversies in sports history, and the curse will supposedly only be lifted when the championship is returned to Pottsville and to the “correct shade of red” team.

Alrighty, then.

Interestingly enough, Arizona finally made it to Super Bowl XLIII in 2007, when they managed to lose to another Pennsylvania team: the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Arizona Cardinals were all poised to win… but with less than a minute left in the game, a Steelers touchdown instantly crushed their hopes and dreams.

Congratulations, Cardinals, on being #1!

What an honor!

Ok.

So it may not exactly be the most coveted list to top, but there’s now plenty of proof that any and all curses can be broken… dead spirits and ejected goats be damned.

You’re up, Cardinals! Now just don’t blow it…again!

Congratulations, Chicago Cubs! 108 years of crappy luck is finally over!

Congratulations, Chicago Cubs! 108 years of crappy luck is finally over!

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26 thoughts on “Take Me Out to the Ballgame

    • It was indeed a memorable game, and I’m so glad they finally won again! I think no matter who a person would normally root for, this was one Series where nearly every fan of baseball was a fan of the Cubs. Unless, of course, that person was a die-hard Indians fan… 😛

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  1. The Cubs will definitely be a force again next season providing of course most of their guys stay healthy…and stay around. Those Pottsville Maroons indeed do deserve to have their title returned. Arizona’s Cardinals might be well-served to give that championship back if they wish to secure a future one. I grew up with the club being located in St. Loo and was sorry to see them leave for the desert. Ownership tried to hold the city hostage for a new stadium but St. Louis did not blink even though the club was well-supported. Owner Bidwell was notorious for being cheap and he wasn’t inclined to spend his own money…more inclined to just go where another city would give him more. They admittedly came close against the Steelers…it was ironic it was another Pennsylvania team.

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    • I have always be a fan of baseball, and I remember being intrigued with Shoeless Joe Jackson after watching the Field of Dreams. So then of course I just had to read the book Shoeless Joe… 😀

      I also find the Chicago Cubs’ history to be fascinating. Is it really possible that this team had gone more than a century without a World Series win, all because the officials at Wrigley Field ejected… a goat, of all things? 😛

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  2. There are so many things wrong with that BTTF prediction (the year, not accounting for expanded playoffs, Florida in the AL, I could go on…), but I have to think that at the time that film was made, the “curse” (I hate that word, I don’t believe in them) was 81 years old, and thewriters had to be as surprised as anyone that the Cubs drought actually was STILL active when the real 2015 finally rolled around. The Cubs did go to the playoffs the year BTTF2 came out (1989), but lost to the Giants. Had they advanced, the World Series Game 3 would have been in Chicago, not San Francisco, when the earthquake hit…

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    • Yeah, there are definitely some discrepancies between BTTF’s predictions and reality. It would’ve been more impressive if it had predicted that the two teams with the longest droughts in MLB would be facing off against each other. 😀

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  3. Not really a sports fan, but I’m an Ohioan and when my team makes it to the World Series, I watch. I was crushed when the Cubs won, but after 108 years, they were due. Too bad the Indians now hold the Dry Spell Record, but maybe that means our day is coming soon. 🙂

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    • If their roster doesn’t change significantly, I would imagine they’ll continue to be a force to reckon with. It’s nice to see a team that’s consistently been at the bottom for so long to finally come away with a World Series victory. Especially after a century-long drought!

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