By Jacob Luft
May 23, 2005
A Curse For Every Team (Except The Red Sox)
Team Curse
World Series drought: 96 seasons (1908)
Postseasons since then: 1910, '18, '29, '32, '35, '38, '45, '84, '89, '98, 2003
Who knew a billy goat could hold such a grudge? Farm animal folklore aside, who else thinks they should have never gone to lights at Wrigley Field? At least if they made the Series, it would have forced the greedy TV networks to broadcast the games during the daytime.
World Series drought: 87 seasons (1917)
Postseasons since then: 1919, '59, '83, '93, 2000
If trading Babe Ruth buys you 86 years of pain, what does throwing a World Series and bringing the game to its knees do for you? Buckle up, Hawk Harrelson lovers, this ride is just getting started.
World Series drought: 56 seasons (1948)
Postseasons since then: 1954, '95, '96, '97, '98, '99, 2001
In 1960, the Indians traded away popular outfielder Rocky Colavito, who was coming off back-to-back 40-homer seasons, to the Tigers for Harvey Kuenn. Colavito went on to hit 245 more home runs in his career. Kuenn played one season for the Indians.
World Series drought: 50 seasons (1954)
Postseasons since then: 1962, '71, '87, '89, '97, 2000, '02, '03
According to a recent San Jose Mercury News article, it's the Curse of Sal Maglie. "The Barber" pitched through pain in helping the Giants win the Series in '54, but he started slowly in '55 and got dumped. The club also spread rumors that he was washed up. Far from it -- Maglie went 13-5 for the NL champion Dodgers in '56.
World Series drought: 44 seasons (since inception as Senators in 1961)
Postseasons since then: 1996, '98, '99
Their curse is still with the franchise -- Buck Showalter. He has won the Manager of the Year award twice. Nonetheless, the Rangers must know -- as the Yankees and D'backs have learned -- that they won't win the World Series until they get rid of their martinet leader.
World Series drought: 43 seasons (since inception in 1962)
Postseasons since then: 1980, '81, '86, '97, '98, '99, '01, 2004
It's been a long time, Mike Scott. Will you please admit, once and for all, that you were scuffing the baseball? I saw your NL West-clinching no-hitter the other day on ESPN Classic. There's no way a baseball was meant to move like that.
World Series drought: 36 seasons (since inception as Seattle Pilots in 1969)
Postseasons since then: 1981, '82
The circumstances in which the franchise got the funding for Miller Park approved were a bit shady. At the 11th hour, state senator George Petak of Racine flipped his vote in the middle of the night, tipping the vote in the Brewers' favor. Petak was recalled by his constituency soon thereafter.
World Series drought: 36 seasons (since inception in 1969)
Postseasons since then: 1984, '96, '98
Trading away future Hall of Famer Robbie Alomar in 1990 is a good place to start, but how about letting a boy genius front office executive named Theo Epstein get away to the Red Sox?
World Series drought: 36 seasons (since inception as Montreal Expos in 1969)
Postseasons since then: 1981
They didn't bring Youppie along after moving out of Montreal. Bad move.
World Series drought: 28 seasons (since inception in 1977)
Postseasons since then: 1995, '97, 2000, '01
We've heard of curses for trading away players, but how about a manager? The Mariners dealt Sweet Lou Piniella, who had guided the club to four playoff appearances in 10 seasons, to the Devil Rays for outfielder Randy Winn.
World Series drought: 25 seasons (1979)
Postseasons since then: 1990, '91, '92
While Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla were leaving via free agency in the early 1990s, the Pirates made sure to keep the lesser of their three outfielders -- Andy Van Slyke -- happy with a three-year, $12 million contract.
World Series drought: 24 seasons (1980)
Postseasons since then: 1981, '83, '93
When Ryne Sandberg is inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, think about what might have been. The Phillies traded the future star second baseman (along with Larry Bowa) for Ivan DeJesus before the 1982 season.
World Series drought: 22 seasons (1982)
Postseasons since then: 1985, '87, '96, 2000, '01, '02, '04
In 1983, the Cards traded Keith Hernandez to the Mets for Neil Allen and Rick Owenby, thus beginning what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch referred to last October as "The Curse of Keith." Vince Coleman getting attacked by the tarp in 1985? Don Denkinger's blown call? Jack Clark's injury before the 1987 World Series? It's all due to the Curse of Keith.
World Series drought: 21 seasons (1983)
Postseasons since then: 1996, '97
That sure is a nice ballpark they play in, that Oriole Park at Camden Yards. But have they won anything since moving there in 1992? And now that the Baltimore-born Babe Ruth can't bug the Red Sox anymore, he might get bored and set his sights on his local team.
World Series drought: 20 seasons (1984)
Postseasons since then: '87
Did they have the billy goat's back during that 1945 World Series? Did they give him a box seat for the games in Detroit? It's taken the billy goat a while to get worked up about this -- the Tigers won it all in 1968 and '84 -- but now he's on to you, Motor City.

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