Sport Other Sports Another sporting drought broken: Chicago Cubs make World Series

Another sporting drought broken: Chicago Cubs make World Series

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Wrigley Field erupted in pandemonium as the Cubs broke their World Series drought. Photo: Getty
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If readers of The New Daily thought fans of the Cronulla Sharks and the Western Bulldogs had to wait a long time for success, not to mention the Cleveland Cavaliers or Leicester City, they should spare a thought for long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans.

One of the city’s major sporting teams, the Cubs have not won baseball’s World Series since 1908. They have not even played in a World Series since 1945.

They might also have the most notorious curse in world sport.

The club has been to the World Series seven times in the last 108 years but come up empty each time.

The drought has made the idea of the Cubs winning the World Series the “impossible dream” of American sport.

Hope, though, has risen fast in Chicago this year.

Most of the city is buzzing about an exciting Cubs roster that punched its ticket to the 2016 World Series after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 on Sunday (AEDT).

America’s unluckiest sporting franchise needs just four more wins to put to rest a curse that has haunted it since 1945.

The moment the Cubs made the 2016 World Series:

The Cubs’ Greek curse

Greeks are known for cursing their foes.

Chicago tavern owner Billy Sianis put a spell on the Cubs after he was ejected from the club’s famous home stadium – Wrigley Field – during the fourth game of the 1945 World Series.

Club president Philip Wrigley tossed out Mr Sianis because he rocked up with a live goat that literally stunk out a terrace of seats near home plate.

As Billy and his goat were escorted away, the Greek immigrant declared that the Cubs would never win the World Series again.

The legend of the curse took hold of the city a few days later when the Cubs lost the 1945 world title to the Detroit Tigers.

It was a great publicity stunt for Mr Sianis, who renamed his restaurant “The Billy Goat Inn”.

Today, it is a cherished institution of Chicago famous for its cheeseburgers and as a hangout for celebrity diners that include Bill Murray, Hillary Clinton and John Cusack.

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Some Cubs’ fans evidently needed things written out plainly to believe they were happening. Photo: Getty

However, the curse stuck and as the years and decades rolled by, Billy’s goat became synonymous across the United States with the Cubs’ failure to win another pennant.

In 1974, the Sianis family tried to extinguish the curse when Billy’s nephew, Sam, and a goat named Socrates arrived to a red carpet reception at Wrigley Field.

Sam declared that he and Socrates had reversed the jinx.

Unfortunately, it had no effect on the Cubs, with bad luck curtailing brave bids in 1984 and 2003.

When the Cubs made the playoffs in 2008, Sam returned again with a Greek Orthodox priest who sprayed holy water over the Cubs’ dugout.

Alas, that year the poor Cubs were bundled out of the playoffs without winning a game.

The tide turns and Australia’s connection

The Cubs’ fortunes started to turn in the second half of the 2015 season when a group of exciting young hitters were brought together from the minor leagues by the club’s executive president, Theo Epstein.

The inexperienced line-up made a big impact in the playoffs, but eventually succumbed to the power pitching of the New York Mets.

But throughout 2016, the Cubs have been the dominant team in major league competition and go into the best-of-seven World Series against the Cleveland Indians as hot favourites.

Adelaide’s Greek community will be among those cheering for the Cubs when the first pitch is thrown on Wednesday morning.

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Hundreds and thousands of Cubs’ fans filled Chicago’s streets on Sunday (AEDT). Photo: Getty

Sam Sianis’ brother, Dimitri, has lived in South Australia since migrating from Greece in the early 1950s.

Dimitri’s son, Arthur, told The New Daily that the family was praying for the Cubs to break the drought so that millions of Chicago baseball fans around the world “can have the party of their lives”.

“The curse has been withdrawn,” he said.

*The reporter is a diehard fan of the Boys in Blue and apologises to the Cubs’ faithful for writing yet another story about the ‘Curse’.

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