The Curse of the Billy Goat Curses the Chicago Cubs

curse-of-the-billy-boat

A Brief History

On October 6, 1945, Billy Sianis and his pet billy goat were ejected from Chicago’s Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series thereby (allegedly) cursing the Chicago Cubs for at least the next sixty years!


Digging Deeper

First off, while those in Chicago are probably more apt to be familiar with this story than our vast readership from outside of Chicago, please dear non-Chicagoan readers rest assured that we are not making up this entry in our daily reporting on cracked events in world history!

The story goes as follows: a Greek immigrant to the United States named William Sianis (c. 1895 – October 22, 1970) founded a still in existence chain of taverns called The Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, Illinois in 1934.  A fan of his city’s baseball team, the Cubs, bought two tickets for a ball game taking place on October 6, 1945 worth $7.20.  While one of the tickets was for him, the other one was for his goat.  Although he was apparently allowed to parade along with the goat on the baseball field before the game started, with the goat wearing a sign stating, “we Got Detroit’s Goat,” during the actual game, Sianis and his goat were asked to leave due to the goat’s odor bothering other fans.

The enraged Greek lashed out at the Cubs for this insult by declaring, “them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” and purportedly even sending a telegram directly to the team’s owner threatening, “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.”

Whether the curse is the cause or not of the team’s subsequent struggles, the reality remains that the Cubs have neither won a World Series nor even a National League pennant since Sianis’s declarations over fifty years ago!

Historical Evidence

For a quick web read detailing this bizarre story, please visit the Billy Goat Tavern’s official website at http://www.billygoattavern.com/legend/curse/ which provides a rather detailed history of the curse and its consequences. Authors have also actually written a number of full length books on the topic: Steve Gatto, Da Curse of the Billy Goat, The Chicago Cubs, Pennant Races, and Curses (Protar House, LLC, 2004); Rick Kogan, A Chicago Tavern: A Goat, a Curse, and the American Dream. (Lake Claremont Press, 2006); and Gil Bogen, The Billy Goat Curse: Losing and Superstition in Cubs Baseball Since World War 2 (McFarland, 2008).  Yes, multiple authors have indeed written well over one hundred pages on this topic!



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Matthew Zarzeczny

Matthew graduated with a B.A. in French and history from Baldwin-Wallace College. At BW, Matthew minored in political science. He earned a Master’s in History at Kent State University and a Ph.D. in History from the Ohio State University. He teaches history at Ashland University, John Carroll University, and Kent State University at Stark.