In light of the recent Dodgers’ victory over the Cubs last night, people are already muttering that the Cubbies are doomed to fail once again. They are known as the lovable losers of Wrigley, forever cursed to never win the big one. Of course, the most well-known curse is that of the Billy Goat. The story goes that a local tavern owner had a pet goat, which he took to the 1945 World Series, but subsequently got kicked out of the game because of the goat’s smell after it started to rain. He cursed the Cubs that they will never play in another World Series in Wrigley again. Ever since, there has been multiple attempts, both by fans and the team doing publicity stunts, to rid the team of their wretched curse.
There is also the lesser known “Curse of Fred Merkle.” Merkle was a Giants’ rookie who had an baserunning blunder during a game against the Cubs in 1908. He didn’t touch second base while rounding the bases and amid the celebration of a Giants’ playoff birth, a Cub picked up the ball and got Merkle out. This led to a one game playoff to determine who gets to advance, which was won by the Cubs. This would be the last World Series the Cubs would win. The curse was revisted in 1998 when the Cubs beat the Giants in a one game playoff, but subsequently got knocked out of the playoffs later on the 90 year anniversary of Merkle’s blunder. This year was the 100th anniversary.
In recent years, both the White Sox and Red Sox have broken their curses. Of course the Red Sox put an end to, perhaps, the most famous cures of all, the “Curse of the Bambino,” in 2004 and right after that, the White Sox ended the “Curse of the Black Sox.” Are the Cubs next to break their curse streak?
In any case, the Cubs and Giants are the only storied franchises with “curses,” still placed upon their franchise. The Giants are unable to win a World Series title in San Francisco. There have been several curses associated with this:
The Curse of Captain Eddie
Eddie Grant was a former NY Giants player who died in WWI. When the Giants moved out west from the Polo Grounds, a plaque in his honor was stolen, then recovered, and sent West to install at Seal Stadium. During the transport, the plaque was lost. Since 2002, the Giants have tried to make replicas, two of which cracked. They finally made one and put it somewhere in the stadium, but it lives in obscurity.
The Krukow Curse
Mike Krukow was a former Giants pitcher and a well known broadcaster for Giants’ radio affiliate KNBR. Prior to every season, he is optimistic that the Giants have a chance to win the World Series. Until he stops making these predictions, the Giants will never win a World Series.
Are any of these baseball hexes actually real? Baseball is a superstitous sport so who knows – you decide.