Goatbusters! Chicago Cubs bury curse with first World Series title in 108 years

Image: World Series Game Four

Cubs fans, accompanied by a billy goat, leave Wrigley Field in Chicago after Game Four of the World Series. Scott Olson / Getty Images

(According to “

Chronicles of Old Chicago,” a 2014 book by Chicago historian and author Adam Selzer, Sianis went so far as to send Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley a telegram after the game — which the Cubs lost, along with the series — promising: “You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat.”)

Many attempts were made over the decades to lift the curse, which Sianis, himself, rescinded before his death in 1970. And his nephew Sam, the tavern’s current owner, has shown up at Wrigley Field with a goat on Opening Day several times to show that there were no hard feelings. In 2009, a Greek Orthodox priest blessed the Cubs’ dugout with holy water. Then, in 2012, five Cubs fans calling themselves Crack the Curse walked more than 1,700 miles — with a goat named Wrigley — from the team’s spring training camp in Mesa, Arizona, to Wrigley Field.

So what finally worked? Sound management.

Theo Epstein was hired as the Cubs’ president of baseball operations after the 2011 season, when the team finished last in its division. Four years later, the Cubs were in the playoffs. A year later, they’re champions.

Epstein has experience with these things. It was Epstein who, as general manager of the Boston Red Sox, built a team that also won the World Series in 2004 — breaking the 86-year-old Curse of the Bambino, which dictated that the Red Sox would never win a title because they traded Babe Ruth to the hated New York Yankees after they won the championship in 1918.

Perhaps the Cubs’ triumph was equally fated. Their victory Wednesday wiped away 108 years of stress —

National Stress Awareness Day.

“The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series is about more than a game, more than a team, and more than a sport,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “It is about generations who have come together around radios, televisions, and within the friendly confines of Wrigley Field to root for the home team and share triumphs and defeats. Cubs fans have never given up hope that this day was possible, and this young team made it happen.”

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