The Billy Goat Curse

Losing and Superstition in Cubs Baseball Since World War II


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SKU: 9780786433544 Categories: , ,

About the Book

In 1945 the most famous curse in sports was placed on the Chicago Cubs when Bill Sianis and his goat were ejected from Wrigley Field. Though Sianis purchased two tickets for the fourth game of the World Series against Detroit, the goat’s stench led to the pair’s ouster. The indignant Sianis allegedly cursed the Cubs, promising that they’d never again play in the World Series at Wrigley Field.
More than six decades later, the team has yet to win a pennant. There were years when fortune seemed to pluck defeat from the wings of sure victory. The book focuses on the attitudes of players and fans, as well as attempts to exorcise the curse. It features photographs and interviews of former Cub players, as well as a foreword by Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks.

About the Author(s)

SABR member Gil Bogen is a retired psychiatrist. He is the author of several books about the Chicago Cubs and Cubs players. He lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Gil Bogen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: 41 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3354-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Ernie Banks      1
Introduction      3

1. The Glory Years      9
2. “Billy Goat” Sianis      28
3. Enter the Goat      36
4. Curse of the Goat      42
5. Disasters ad Infinitum      59
6. Miracle Mets      67
7. A Stunning Collapse      76
8. Running Out of Gas      79
9. Managers Coming and Going      88
10. Hello, Mr. Frey      91
11. Goodbye, Mr. Frey      103
12. Just Plain Bad      113
13. Those Wild, Crazy Cubs      119
14. The Curse Lives On      128
15. As Bad as Usual      141
16. It Never Ends      149
17. Curses and Beyond      152
18. The Kiss of Death      155
19. Wackiest Guys on Earth      159
20. Losing Stinks      162
21. Looking Back      166
22. Righting the Cubs’ Ship      168
23. A Winning Attitude      170
24. A Winning Manager      173
25. Breaking the Curse      175
26. Play Ball      180

Conclusion      189
Chapter Notes      191
Bibliography      201
Index      209

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Interesting…enjoyable”—Nine