September 4, 2016
I found it.
The reason the 1969 Cubs collapsed and lost to the Mets.
I found the link.
I’ve been reading the book Miracle Collapse: The 1969 Chicago Cubs, (2006) by Doug Feldmann (Lincoln, NE: Board of Regents, University of Nebraska). This paragraph recounts what happened on July 7, 1969. Let me set the stage: the Cubs were five games out in front of the New York Mets when they arrived in New York City to play their Eastern Division rivals. The Cubs were riding high – they looked unbeatable. They were confident as they arrived in the Big Apple for a three-game series… perhaps too confident. No – confidence is a calm, honest belief in a team’s ability to win. The Cubs were cocky – they gave themselves too much credit for their own success. They forgot, ultimately, that the Lord God is in control. It is HE who gets credit for any success, not ourselves.
I know that the Cubs had been cursed by God (that is, the One named Elohim and Yahweh in the Hebrew Scriptures) for several reasons. They had two major curses on them: one 84-year curse because of their deliberate loss in the 1918 Series, a fraud that inspired their cross-town rivals, the White Sox, to think they could get away with throwing the 1919 Series. The Cubs were further cursed with “The Curse of the Bambino, Chicago-style” when the Babe “Called his Shot” in the 1932 Series (that 84-year curse will be up this year, 2016). They’ve ALSO been cursed with a “70 Year Exile” from the World Series curse because of the way the Wrigley fans disrespected Hank Greenberg in the 1945 Series.
I thought the Cubs were suffering from those curses being manifested in 1969. I was right – but the 1969 Cubs RE-AFFIRMED those curses. Look at Doug Feldmann’s (it is NOT coincidental that his name sounds Jewish) unaltered text on what happened as the Cubs took a bus ride from the airport:
(p. 162) (July 7, 1969) The magnitude of the upcoming contests was apparent. The Mets would be visiting Wrigley in a week for a three-game series, so theoretically, the whole balance of the Eastern Division standings had the potential of shifting. “There’s no question about it,” [Mets’ manager Gil] Hodges told the New York Times. “The two series with the Cubs are bigger than any others, because they are the big team. We need to take two-out-of-three each time… All of our people couldn’t be more ready.” He was referring to the fact that his club had just swept a doubleheader from the Pirates and stood poised to attack the division leaders. On the way from the airport after the Cubs arrived in New York, [Willie] Smith and Nate Oliver tried to keep the team loose. They stood up in the front of the bus and chanted made-up prayers while the group hummed along, finished with a strung out “Ahhhhhhhh-mmmmmmmennnnnnnnnnnn,” and started to pray in their own ethnic and religious verses – Jewish, Christian, Black, Hispanic, northerner, southerner, and others to which they didn’t even belong, with Durocher just smiling and shaking his head in witness to the silliness. When that ended the team clamored for another song, so Banks took the front seat of the bus and led them in Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” [Pitchers Ken] Holtzman and [Dick] Selma nearly found themselves on the floor of the bus, hysterical with laughter. They arrived relaxed at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, settled into their rooms, and from the windows watched a soft rain fall.
Joe, again: Do you realize what the Cubs did? Instead of humbly recognizing that they were being blessed by God in 1969, they defiantly went into a blasphemous mock-prayer to declare a curse ON THEMSELVES. They could have had a real prayer – but they had a mocking pseudo-prayer instead. And all of them were involved – including manager Leo Durocher.
And the curse was manifested THE VERY NEXT GAME! In game one, on July 8, 1969, the Cubs had a 3 – 1 lead going into the bottom of the 9th. Fergie Jenkins was pitching the game of his life – he was brilliant all night. But… the curse was soon manifested. Ken Boswell of the Mets led off with a fly ball to center field that Don Young – playing for his defense, not for his bat – misjudged and allowed to drop in for a double. After Tommie Agee popped up for the first out, Donn Clendenon hit a deep fly ball to Young in center field – an easy out, but it popped out of his glove (and a friendly Mets’ official scorer called a double). Cleon Jones, the league’s leading hitter, followed with a clean double down the left-field line, tying the score. Art Shamsky walked, then the Cubs got a second out. Jenkins then fired a low, outside fastball to Ed Kranepool, which he hit into left field for a single, scoring Jones and winning the game for the Mets.
The words over the Cubs’ box score the next day in The Chicago Tribune?
PORTEND OF DOOM?
I kid you not.
And remember: a no-hitter (or a near-no-hitter, with a pitcher being absolutely dominating) is a sure sign of a curse. The next night, Tom Seaver was as unhittable as he ever was in his long career. He had a perfect game until one out in the ninth, when Jamie Qualls got a single for the Cubs’ only hit. Another portend of doom.
And even though the Cubs won game three, behind Bill Hands, the curse was active – despite the Cubs still being ahead, it was only a matter of time. The Miracle Collapse was under way.
And… is it a coincidence that the Cubs’ mocking prayer service activated the curses?
Once again – these curses are always from God, not from the devil. As far as I can tell, however, the curses are over – the Cubs will win it all in 2016.