Recently, here in Chicago, a big to do was made about the destruction
of the now infamous Bartman Baseball. For those who are unfamiliar with
this relic, it is the foul ball that was blamed for causing the Cubs to
lose the National League Championship Series last year. Steve Bartman
made an attempt to catch the ball and have a fantastic souvenir from a
rare Cubs playoff appearance. Thats all he did. His action may or may
not have made Moises Alou miss the ball and lead to the demise of the
Cubs. Regardless, Bartmans Curse was born.

Steve Bartman, A Chicago E-mail Favorite

got to thinking about baseball and curses. We all know about the curse
on the Red Sox involving the trading of Babe Ruth to the Yankees. But
the Cubs seem to have the corner of the market on curses. To some fans,
these curses explain why the Cubs havent won a World Series since 1908.
If you ask the average Cubs fan if he believes in curses, hell always


However, whenever something bad befalls the beloved team, the fans take on a rather selective belief in curses.

the famous Goat Curse put on the Cubs by the owners of the Billy Goat
Tavern after their goat was denied access to a ballgame. I must say,
since that curse didnt come along until 1945, I cant see how that
explains the Cubs not winning a World Series since 1908.

The Cubs Got His Goat

1980s provided a couple of good seasons marred by the Curse of Steve
Garvey & Leon Durhams Curse. A home run and a Buckner-esque bobbled
ground ball made all the difference in the world to the cursed Cubs.

only do the Cubs have their own Red Sox/Babe Ruth-style curse, but
theyve got two of them. In 1964 they foolishly traded future Hall of
Famer Lou Brock for future Trivial Pursuit answer, Ernie Broglio,
creating Lous Curse. The late 80s provided a GREAT pitching prospect in
Greg Maddux. He won his first Cy Young Award in Chicago and things
looked great for the Cubbies until the teams owners made little or no
effort to retain this future Cooperstown resident. Maddux went to
Atlanta and The Great Greg Maddux Curse of 1993 was born.

1969, there was the famous "Black Cat Curse," where a fan actually
smuggled a black cat into the park and threw it out onto the field,
where it crossed paths with Ron Santo. Many believe that it was the cat
that caused the Cubs to give up a seemingly insurmountable lead in the
National League and lose everything to the Mets. Isn't it funny how
nobody blames the cat for Ron Santos absence in the Hall of Fame? Hmmm

deaths of legendary broadcasters Harry Caray and Jack Brickhouse
spurred a minor curse of their own. In 1998, Harry Caray, Cubs
broadcaster for 16 years, and Jack Brickhouse, Cubs broadcaster for 30+
years, passed away. When the time came for fitting tributes to these
great baseball men, Harry got a statue raised in his honor outside of
the park, as well as the continuing tribute of the 7th inning stretch
guest conductors at the park. There are frequent ceremonies and photos
honoring Caray to this day. Brickhouse was honored with signs in the
outfield that simply said, "Hey Hey", honoring his famous home run tag.
Supposedly this upset the Brickhouse family. The newspaper writers as
well as WSCR radio personality Mike North felt that the lesser display
of respect for Jack Brickhouse resulted in Jack's Curse. Whether this
naming of yet another curse was serious or joking, the Cubs lost to the
Braves in the divisional series. Greg Maddux and Jack Brickhouses ghost
were no doubt amused.

More recently, the Tribune company (owners
of the Chicago Cubs) wanted to make plans for rennovations on Wrigley
Field that included putting up opaque windscreens on the outfield
fences. These screens blocked the view of the rooftop viewers and
Wrigley neighbors, angering them so much that The Rooftop Curse was

Even God Believes in Curses!

My favorite tale of
Chicago Cubs curses came in the 1989 season (another rare playoff
appearance). A fan sent a silly little poem he'd written called "The
Hex" to WGN radio. It was a rhyming incantation whereby the reading
would temporarily jinx the opposing team and lead to a Cubs victory.
DeWayne Staats, the Cubs radio announcer at the time, would bring out
The Hex at opportune times and oddly enough, the Cubs would
occasionally win. THIS was exactly what the Chicago Cubs needed; a
curse they could use to their advantage. It seemed as though the Cubs
had it all. That is, until complaints came in from the listeners about
how using any sort of spell or hex was black magic and invoked the
favor & wrath of the Devil himself. They would not stand for such
childish embracing of daemonic arts and demanded The Hex be removed
from the broadcast. One complaint letter claimed that "Cubs fans do not
condone the black arts and more importantly do not believe in the
notion of curses." The Hex was removed. The team went to the playoffs
and lost in five games.

Clearly, the Cubs fans have proven one thing to me.


what would happen if Steve Bartmans goat jumped off of a Chicago
rooftop, landing on a Lou Brock rookie card owned by Greg Maddux? I bet
Jack Brickhouse would be pissed!