October 14, 1908: Cubs Win the World Series

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Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States when the Cubs last won the World Series on October 14, 1908, defeating the Detroit Tigers 2-0.  Just barely within human memory, about one hundred Americans are still alive now who were alive then.  It was the second World Series win for the Cubs, their first being the year before in 1907.  Why the Cubs have had this championship drought, other than bad ball playing, has been a matter of much speculation.  The most popular explanation is the Curse of the Billy Goat.

In 1945 Billy Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, was attending game four of the World Series being held in Wrigley Field, once again the Chicago Cubs facing the Detroit Tigers.  This being Chicago where odd characters are as common as blustery politicians, he brought his pet goat Murphy with him to the game.  Other patrons complained that the goat stank.  Sianis was thrown out.  As he was leaving Sianis was heard to say,“Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more!”.

When the Cubs lost the series, Sianis sent a telegram to P.K. Wrigley, the owner of the Cubs:  “Who stinks now?

Various attempts to lift the curse have been attempted over the years, including having Sam Sianis, a nephew of Billy, lead various goats onto the field at Wrigley.  Of course, no one really believes in the curse.  I am sure that there is a logical reason why the Cubs have the longest period of going without a World Series title in the history of American baseball.  What that might be however eludes me.  I have no doubt however that in the world to come Billy Sianis, and perhaps Murphy, are vastly amused by all this.

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  1. DWill….grew up near Cleveland, Dad worked there for 29 years. I’m not a Cleveland fan, but I hope the Tribe wins it all. The Cubs can lose for another 108 years.

  2. A Chicago/Cleveland match-up would be VERY INTERESTING, not only on the field, but in the media with people like Hugh Hewitt, a rabid Clevelander-anything fan with a microphone and a pen. But first, the Dodgers.

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