CLEVELAND — The billy goat curse is dead.
The Chicago Cubs are World Series champions at long last, winning their first Fall Classic in 108 years, defeating the Cleveland Indians in 10 innings 8-7 in Game 7 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Ben Zobrist’s RBI double off Bryan Shaw drove in pinch runner Albert Almora, Jr., and Miguel Montero’s single with the bases loaded brought home Anthony Rizzo for what proved the winning run.
The Cubs hadn’t won a World Series since 1908, which was the longest drought in baseball. They also broke the curse set the last time they got this far 71 years ago.
On October 6, 1945, a month after the end of World War II, a Chicago tavern owner named William “Billy” Sianis went to Wrigley Field, intending to attend Game 4 of the World Series with his pet goat, Murphy. But, according to the Billy Goat Tavern website, while both had tickets, the goat was denied entry. No animals were allowed in the ballpark, plus Murphy smelled bad.
Sianis, according to legend, threw up his arms and proclaimed, “The Cubs ain’t gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field.”
They had not won since. Until now.
The Cubs are the first team to come behind from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series since the Kansas City Royals did it in 1985. Chicago also accomplished that feat by winning the final two games on the road. The last team to do that was the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.
With the Cubs’ win Thursday, the Indians now have the current longest dry spell between championships, last winning in 1948.