A Curse is Broken in Chicago!

A brief post about the curse that is broken in Chicago, and the Cubs winning their first World Series in 108 years. My Mom’s family is from Chicago and they watched the games with nervousness. I just want to do a fun post for a change in light of all the heavy writing that has occurred.

“Once a Cubs fan always a Cubs fan.”

Bailey Chase

“Every player should be accorded the privilege of at least one season with the Chicago Cubs. That’s baseball as it should be played – in God’s own sunshine. And that’s really living.”

Alvin Dark

For everything there is a season,  a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.  A time to plant and a time to harvest.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

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Image from Wikipedia

Reaction outside Wrigley Field

I have written about my Dad’s side of the family but have not really written about my Mom. My Mom is a Chicago native and loves the area. Mom grew up on the south side of Chicago and is a White Sox fan. She grew up attending games in the old Comisky park with her father. She has a lot of fond memories of games in Comisky in the 1950’s and later. My Mom moved away from Chicago but we still had ties to thr city. In addition my sister would eventually call Chicago home for a number of years. One of my favorite memories is attending a Cubs game in Wrigley Field with my sister. Attending a game in Wrigley Field is unique. I have attended baseball games in Milwaukee, Washington, D.C.  and San Francisco but of all the places I have been Wrigley Field is sacred ground in American baseball.

My Mom today lives in California and still cheers for her sports teams. She roots for the Bulls, Black Hawks and White Sox. But my Mom also wanted to see the Cubs win. As the baseball season developed and the Cubs entered the World Series my Mom as well as my sister watched the series. Many people in my family wanted to see the curse broken. What is the curse? The Billy Goat Curse allegedly began on October 6, 1945 when William “The Billy Goat” Sianis purchased two tickets to Game 4 of the World Series. William Sianis at the time is the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern. Wrigley Field refused to let Billy bring his goat in. He appealed to P.K. Wrigley about bringing his goat in. Wrigley refused, and when asked why by William Sianis, he said, “You’re goat stinks!” An angry goat and an outraged William Sianis allegedly said, “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.” The Billy Goat curse was in effect. You can read more about the history of the curse and the incident on the Billy Goat Tavern webpage. The curse carried on over the years in various incidents, but none more fateful than during an incident in 2003. During the National League Championship Series the Cubs were playing the Florida Marlins. When a foul bowl was hit a fan, known as Steve Bartman reached out and interfered in a play with Moises Alou. The Cubs self destructed and the curse was on. For interfering with the Cubs game the Governor of Florida at the time, Jeb Bush offered Steve Bartman asylum. Steve Bartman has spent much of his life in hiding as I understand it.

On Wednesday night after I swam I went and grabbed dinner at a local Italian deli. They had the Cubs game on and I settled in, ate and watched. What made this World Series fascinating is that I had friends on both sides of the fence. I had people I knew who were hard core Chicago Cubs fans and then I knew another guy who is a die hard Cleveland Indians fan. Actually when I see pictures of Scott Van Sweringen on Facebook it looks as if every other shirt he owns belongs to the Cleveland Indians. So it has been fascinating watching the series progress and getting text messages from people on differing sides of the game. During the fifth inning with the Cubs ahead I texted a friend that the curse is being broken. Then I was texted back “Hush! We don’t speak of such things at the top of the 5th !” So then afterward I texted Scott in return to a prior text “Lesson of the day! Never…NEVER raise the Cubs curse at the top of the 5th with a Cubs fan!” Scott texted me back “Lol” Shortly thereafter the Cleveland Indians started to rally and I watched that and became nervous.  Scott attributed the playing to the Cubs curse and encouraged me to talk about it some more in a text. For me, I decided to shut my mouth. I wanted to see the Cubs win. Not another damn word was going to come out of me.

After the Cubs won I watched the reaction online and on Twitter. It became clear that the curse is officially over. My family in thrilled and I am happy my Mom is happy. To Scott Van Sweringen let me just say this to you. Sorry about Cleveland…yes losing sucks. Been there, done that! There’s always next year. But Scott this had to happen. The curse needed to be buried, baseball needed this curse to end. What could be helpful for the sport is a robust and healthy Cubs franchise that is active and healthy. My hope is that there will be an even stronger sports program with both the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, and that the city’s rich tradition of sports will be strengthened. Sorry Scott but this needed to occur.  And if you are a player in the Chicago Cubs and/or management, I have this one request. Please invite Steve Bartman to Wrigley Field. Please extend a warm invitation to him. After all now that the curse is dead let’s reach out to Steve Bartman and let him root for the Cubs in public again. That’s it guys as always I love you!