Chicago Cubs win World Series in game 7, beating the Cleveland Indians 8 – 7 in Cleveland, ending their 108 year absence from the winner’s circle in 10 innings..
By Don Harward, staff writer
Game 7 of the 2016 World Series began on a Wednesday, but ended on a Thursday as the game stretched into 10 innings with a rain delay thrown in for good measure. At 12:47 A.M Eastern Daylight time (that is 3:47 A.M. here on the best coast) at the bottom of the inning, with two outs and one runner on base, Mike Montgomery clinched the series for Chicago with a final score of 8-7.
The “Loveable Losers” almost lived up to their name in the eighth inning when pitcher Aroldis Chapman gave up a three-run lead with two outs when he served up Rajai Davis with a tying home run.
Cubs first baseman, Anthony Rizzo told ABC 7; “It happened. It happened. Chicago, it happened, We did it. We’re world champions. I tell ya, we’re world champions. I can’t believe it.”.
The Cubs topped off their fantastic season, with 103 wins to only 58 losses, by shattering not one, but two team curses to their fans relief.
The oldest dates to 1908, the last time the Cubs were in a World Series, and is called Merkle’s Boner after rookie first baseman Fred Merkle of the New York Giants failed to touch second base following a game-winning hit by one of his teammates. The error was capitalized on by the Cubs who had Merkle’s run declared invalid which thereby recast the Giant’s win as a tie and forced a make-up game that the Cubs won; a game that has been called “the most controversial game in baseball history.”
While it is difficult for those outside the Windy City to understand how a mistake made by a member of a rival team that caused Chicago’s team to win the Series can be considered a curse, Merkle has been the team’s’ scapegoat for 108 years of not winning a World Series. But not the only one.
The second curse broken by the Cubs this year is more traditional in nature. Known as the Billy Goat Curse, it dates back to 1945 when Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis allegedly said “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” and followed up the next day by sending a telegram to Cubs owner Phillip K. Wrigley stating that the Cubs would lose the 1945 World Series and that there would never be another Series win at Wrigley Field. The Cubs lost the 1945 World Series and Wrigley has not seen a Series game in 71 years.
You’d think that Slanis must have had a pretty good reason for putting such an effective curse upon the entire team; like maybe someone on the team killed a relative or slept with his wife, but it was something far less forgivable.
It was game four of the 1945 World Series, Detroit vs Cubs at Wrigley Field and Slanis bought two tickets for box seats, spending a total of $7.20. One was for himself and the other was for his pet goat, Murphy. He and his goat arrived early and took part in an impromptu parade around the infield in the pre-game wait. Ushers tried to get Slanis to take his goat outside, but Slanis refused contending that he had bought two tickets so he had the right to use two seats and so the ushers backed down.
The ushers returned in the fourth inning, claiming that they had received complaints about the goats’ odor and they were asked to leave. Legend has it that the curse was invoked as Slanis and his pet goat left, and others say the curse was in a telegram sent the following day. Slanis didn’t miss the game because he allegedly tied the goat to a stake in the parking lot and returned to finish watching the game.
Descendants of Slanis have tried to lift the curse on several occasions, mostly by bringing a goat to a game, to no avail until now. One thing is for sure; whatever goofy rituals Cubs fans undertaken these last few days are likely to be carried out for years to come now that Chicago has got its groove back.