Billy Goat Curse sends Cubs to a sixth straight World Series loss
After several years of sub-.500 mediocrity, the Cubs unexpectedly took the NL pennant in 1945 with a major league-best 98 wins. Led by league MVP Phil Cavarretta, Chicago featured one of the best offenses in baseball, and the pitching staff’s 2.98 ERA was second best in the league. Pitted against the Tigers in the World Series, the Cubs won two of the first three games. But during Game 4 at Wrigley, Billy Sianis, the owner of the nearby Billy Goat Tavern, was asked to leave the game because the smell of his pet goat, Murphy, was bothering the other fans. Sianis did depart, but only after angrily pronouncing, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” Chicago lost Games 4 and 5, then stayed alive with a Game 6 victory. But in the winner-take-all Game 7, the Cubs gave up five runs in the first inning en route to a 9–3 loss. Sianis’s hex would live on as the Curse of the Billy Goat, keeping the Cubs out of the World Series until 2016.