CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs held a ceremony to celebrate their first World Series appearance since 1945 on Sunday. The ceremony was open to the public and sold out quickly. Similar to a pep assembly, various members of the Cubs organization spoke to the fans, including General Manager Theo Epstein, Manager Joe Maddon and several players.
The Cubs are seeking their first World Series title since 1908, and as baseball enthusiasts know, they also seek to break the curse of the Billy Goat. The curse originated in 1945 when Billy Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat tavern, was asked to leave Wrigley Field during game four of the World Series, because the odor of his goat was bothering fans. Allegedly, he then sent a telegram to Cubs owner Philip Wrigley that read, “You will lose this World Series and you are never going to win a World Series ever again. You insulted my goat.”
In order to combat the curse, the team decided to sacrifice a goat to the baseball gods in attempt to mend fences and favor the Cubs in this World Series. The goat was escorted out of the dugout, tied up and prepped for sacrifice. All Cubs players and coaches participated in a ceremonial dance around the goat, chanting and praying to the gods. Then, Steve Bartman was called in from the bullpen to execute the sacrifice. The stadium went absolutely crazy as Bartman made his way to home plate. “End the curse! End the curse! End the curse!” They chanted. Bartman then drew the sword of Wrigleyville from his belt, raised it over his head and brought it down. The crowd erupted as the goat fell to the dirt. Steve Goodman’s ‘Go Cubs Go!’ was blasted throughout the stadium as 41,000 fans sang along proudly.
Maddon was asked about the ceremony at a press conference following the event. “It is essential that the gods be on our side,” he said. “108 years is a long time to lose. We need this championship; Chicago needs this championship.”
Cubs first baseman, Anthony Rizzo, also weighed in, “You don’t just lose for 108 years straight. There’s clearly a higher power at work here. In my opinion, we should’ve thought of this a long time ago.”
Lifelong Cubs fan, Austin Kordik, who attended the event, was moved to tears as Bartman executed the goat. “I’ve never seen anything more beautiful in my life,” he said.
The Cubs look to end their championship drought of 108 years as they face the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Cleveland holds the second-longest championship drought at 68 years, so one of those will soon be broken.
One thing is for sure; the Cubs will head into Cleveland with more confidence than ever. Can they end their championship drought and finally be crowned champions, or will the curse of the Billy Goat live on? Game two will be tonight at 8:08 p.m. at Progressive Field in Cleveland.