From the Writer’s Almanac

On this date in 1945, Greek tavern-owner William “Billy Goat” Sianis was ejected from Chicago’s Wrigley Field for attempting to bring a goat to the World Series. The details of the story vary, but the tavern’s version goes something like this: The Cubs were up two games to one over the Detroit Tigers, and they were about to play Game Four. Sianis, whose tavern was across the street from Wrigley Field, hoped to bring his team luck, so he bought two tickets: one for him, and one for his pet goat, Murphy. The ushers wouldn’t let him bring the animal inside, ticket or no. Sianis appealed his case all the way up to the team’s owner, P.K. Wrigley, who said the man was welcome but the goat was not, because “the goat stinks.” According to the legend, Billy then cursed the team, saying, “The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field.” The Cubs went on to lose the next three games of the World Series to the Tigers, and Billy promptly sent Wrigley a telegram that read, “Who stinks now?” In spite of multiple attempts to placate the ghosts of Billy and Murphy in recent years, the Cubs haven’t won — or even appeared in — the Fall Classic since.


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