Chicago throwing World Series party on hold for 71 years

CHICAGO (AP) After waiting 71 years to witness a World Series game, Chicago Cubs fans can hardly contain themselves.

More than six hours before the first pitch of Game 3, thousands of fans - many of them wearing jerseys with names like Banks, Sandberg and Rizzo on their backs - were already in the streets ringing Wrigley Field on Friday as the Cubs prepared to play the Cleveland Indians.

It's the first Series game at the fabled ballpark since 1945, and many Chicagoans skipped work to begin a weekend of baseball they'll never forget.

There was a long line outside Murphy's Bleachers, the renowned tavern on the corner of Sheffield and Waveland Avenues. Vendors worked the crowd, one of them peddling a T-shirt that said, ''I Ain't Afraid of No Goat.''

Generations of Cubs fans believed their team was denied a trip to the Series partly because of ''The Curse of the Billy Goat,'' which began when a Chicago tavern owner supposedly put a hex on the team after it refused to let his pet goat, Murphy, into Wrigley Field during the `45 Series.

The Cubs haven't won the World Series since 1908. It's only been a 68-year drought for the Indians, who last won it all in 1948.

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