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1945- Tavern owner “Billy Goat” Sianis casts goat curse on Chicago Cubs

October 6, 2022

If you were in or near Chicago, Illinois in mid-late 2016, there was no getting around baseball fever. Baseball was on fans' minds everywhere, and for good reason. The Cubs finally had the chance to vanquish a curse that had plagued them since October 6, 1945. A curse that caused more than a century of not winning a World Series title.

The Billy Goat Curse

In 1934, Greek immigrant William Sianis bought an old tavern across the street from Chicago Stadium, where the Blackhawks (and later the Chicago Bulls) played in packed stadiums full of boisterous and noisy crowds. According to legend and known facts, Sianis had a pet goat that had fallen off a truck. Ever the savvy businessman, he named the bar The Billy Goat Tavern.

Sianis was a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan who had taught himself English by reading newspapers. As a local business owner, he brought his pet goat into Game 4 of the World Series between the Cubs and the Tigers. His motivation for this stunt is up for debate. However, as a local business owner, he must have seen the marketing opportunities of his bar's mascot mingling with fans at the game. Unfortunately for him, the goat was disruptive before the game started. As a result, officials kicked him and his goat out of Wrigley Field. This indignant treatment led him to proclaim the Cubs will never win another Pennant!

Despite their back-to-back World Series titles in 1908 and 1909, the Cubs didn’t win another World Series title since. The '45 Cubs were cruising to another title until Sianis and his pet goat came along. The curse finally broke when the 2016 Cubs won, setting Chicago up for a city-wide party for weeks to come.


  1. Lynn Giering

    The Cubs won the World Series in 1907 and 1908. The Pittsburgh Pirates won the Series in 1909.

  2. Ann



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