November 17, 2016
I’m re-posting this, the most complete analysis up-to-date. Since this was posted in June, I have added significantly to the cursed histories of the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, and Indians. Never will I take credit for any of this – it has been revealed by the Holy Spirit to me. I’m just a messenger.
Once again: notice at the end… I mention Ben Zobrist.
Cubs in 2016: Why They Will Win It All
June 10, 2016
I’ve been predicting that the Chicago Cubs will win it all this year, 2016, since they were eliminated by Daniel “Babe Ruth” Murphy and the Mets in the 2015 NLCS. So – the fifth best team in the National League last year, who haven’t won the World Series in ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT years (since 1908), and who haven’t even been IN the World Series for SEVENTY years (since 1945), who had had many ignominious moments… from the disastrous “College of Coaches” experiment in 1961 and 1962… to the 1969 collapse to the Mets… to the “Leon Durham Disaster” in 1984… to the “Buckner Batting Glove” in 1986… to the “Brant Brown Dropped Fly Ball” in 1998… to 2003 (enough said)… But it wasn’t the Billy Goat incident in the 1945 World Series that cursed them. It was really Elohim.
“Who?” Elohim – the God of Creation, the All—Powerful One. He also revealed Himself to Moses and the Israelites as “I AM WHO I AM” or “I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE” – Yahweh, as we transliterate His covenant name into English. Jesus – whose Hebrew name is Yeshua ha Machiach (meaning “Salvation, the Messiah” – Anointed One, Deliverer of Israel) – called Him “Abba Father.” But whatever we call Him, He is in control of all things. And He speaks to us in all the events that go on in all of our lives. And He has spoken to us in our history… and He has spoken to us in our BASEBALL history… and He will continue to speak to us and reveal Himself in all aspects of our lives.
I hear you, my skeptical friends. You don’t even believe He is the Creator (and that He created the “heavens and the earth” ex nihilo, “out of nothing,“ in six days about 6000 years ago), let alone that He is in total and complete control of everything in our lives. You’re sputtering something like, “WHAT? You believe your god (who doesn’t exist) is not only in control of everything that goes on in the world, but that He actually CARES about baseball history?”
I’m saying that very thing! And keep down your sputtering until you read this entire essay – you might learn something. If you read it honestly – with the precious “open mind” you accuse us believers of not having – you will be astonished!
We have to lay down some foundational understandings: first of all, throughout history – baseball history and world history – Elohim has had certain individuals He has blessed. He also blesses nations AND baseball franchises. To bless means “to purpose good things to” someone. The word Jesus used to mean “blessed” in Matthew’s gospel also means “to be happy” – it can be translated “happy” in the Beatitudes. (“Blessed are the poor in spirit…” means “HAPPY are the poor in spirit…). It doesn’t mean those that are blessed are happy all the time… or that they can’t come under judgment sometimes – but the overall pattern of blessed individuals (and teams and nations) is to have positive, good things happen to them.
But – if Elohim can bless, He can also do the opposite – curse. A curse is not “a bad word,” in this context; it means the opposite of blessing – “to purpose bad things to.” They are sometimes translated “woes” in the Scriptures. It means being under the judgment of Yahweh… to have NEGATIVE things happen to an individual (or a team or a nation). It doesn’t mean negative things happen all the time – but they happen! There are many curses in the Bible – from the “Curse of Sin” caused by Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden, to the curses of Jesus in the Messianic Writings (the New Testament). When Jesus said “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees – hypocrites!” … He is cursing them because of their persistent sin of unbelief.
The second thing is Yahweh’s Special Relationship with Abraham’s descendants” – primarily people we know today as the Jews. Yahweh said to Abraham “I will bless those who bless you; I will curse those who curse you.” He was making a promise – a promise that has no end point; it is an eternal promise – to the family line of Abraham, through Isaac, and through Jacob. Even though, many times over the years, as told to us in the Tanach (the Old Testament), He has had to curse His own people because of their persistent unbelief, He will ultimately bless them by bringing the Messianic Kingdom through them – when Yeshua ha Mashiach takes over as the King of Israel (the reunited Jews and other non-Jewish descendants of Jacob) ON earth FROM Jerusalem during the future 1000-year reign in the Millennial Kingdom.
So – what does this mean to us in baseball history? Elohim has blessed certain individuals, usually because they honored Him publically or, simply because of their Jewish ancestry. There are blessed individuals who I’m not sure of their Jewishness, but, by how Elohim has blessed them, there probably is some Jewish ancestral connection. It’s His prerogative as the All-Powerful One to bless anyone He chooses to bless. He has also cursed some individuals and teams. He blesses and curses nations – like, the United States of America WAS blessed for a lot of reasons (like the faith of most of the founding fathers, and the fact that George Washington, on the day he was inaugurated as the first president, prayed for this nation to be blessed), but especially because of our history of Freedom and our support of the re-born nation of Israel. So He blesses and curses teams.
The third thing: the length of curses. There are short-term curses – like SEVEN- year curses (seven is the number of Elohim in the Bible, used over and over again). Usually the short-term curses are for first-time offenses (the Cubs’ first curse was a short-term curse). There can be curses that are a multiple of seven – like 14-year or 21-year curses – for subsequent offenses. There are 40-year “Wandering in the Wilderness” curses… There are “70-years of EXILE” curses… But the big one is the 84-year curse. This is a multiple of the two numbers of Elohim in Scripture – Seven and, the number of foundation, Twelve. Just as there a Seven-Days of Creation, the Seventy-Sevens of Daniel’s Prophecy in Daniel 9, and the Sevens upon Sevens of the book of the Revelation, there are TWELVE months of the year (based on lunar cycles), TWELVE tribes of Israel, and TWELVE apostles of Yeshua. There are TWELVE gates of the city of Jerusalem that Nehemiah re-built; there are TWELVE gates in the New Jerusalem in the book of the Revelation. There will be 144,000 Jewish evangelists (TWELVE times TWELVE) in the time of the Tribulation. So – SEVEN TIMES TWELVE brings the maximum penalty: an 84-year curse.
I want to stay on the Cubs, but, for a few minutes, let’s go to other teams for examples.
- For SEVEN year curses, there are many, but here are three –
- The Curse of the Black Shirts : John McGraw first cursed his New York Giants by giving credit for the 1905 World Series victory to the fact that his team “intimidated” the Philadelphia A’s of Connie Mack by wearing their “good luck” black shirts. He also exalted himself by having his New York Giant’s team wear shirts that had “World’s Champions” emblazoned across them. Instead of giving credit where it belonged – to Abba Father – he took credit for himself. The 1908 Merkle’s Boner” incident was a manifestation of that curse.
- The Curse of Charles “Victory” Faust – Just before his first curse was up, McGraw’s superstitions cost the Giants another seven-year curse: in 1911, the Giants famously picked up “good luck charm” Charles “Victory” Faust in Louis. As long as Faust – a non-athlete who was told by a fortuneteller that he would become a Major League pitcher and lead the New York Giants to a World Series victory – sat on the Giants’ bench and (clownishly) warmed up before every game as if he were going to pitch, the Giants believed they would win. It worked – temporarily. They roared from behind to win the 1911 National League pennant. But they lost to the A’s this time, behind the hitting of their third-baseman “Home Run” Baker. Another curse was in place, manifesting in the loss to the Red Sox in the 1912 World Series when usually sure-gloved centerfielder Fred Snodgrass dropped an easy fly ball, giving the Red Sox a chance to come back and win Game Seven. This will forever be known as “Snodgrass’ Muff.” And also in the 1917 World Series – the Giants “oddly” messed up a run-down play in the last game, and New York third-baseman Heinie Zimmerman “inadvertently” chased the speedy Eddie Collins across the plate with the Series-winning run for the White Sox.
- The Curse of Connie’s Hunchback: To match John McGraw’s alleged “good-luck charm” of “Victory” Faust, Connie Mack of the Philadelphia A’s hired the hunch-backed Eddie Van Zandt for the 1911 World Series to be a “good-luck charm” for the A’s. The A’s won (of course, somebody had to win), but his team’s SEVEN-year curse was delayed a couple of years. They won in 1913, but the defending World Champion A’s lost in 4-straight to the seemingly less-talented “Miracle Braves of 1914”, the other Boston That was it for Connie Mack – he traded or sold all of his “fat cat” stars (like Eddie Collins to the White Sox and “Home Run” Baker”” to the Yankees). In 1915, the Curse began: the Mackmen finished dead last in the American League for a record… SEVEN … years.
- A 28-year Curse: On the Cleveland Indians for, essentially, doing the same thing the Giants did in 1906 – they won the 1920 World Series over the Brooklyn Dodgers, then, they took credit for their victory by proudly wearing shirts emblazoned with “World’s Champions” in 1921. The curse ended when the Indians did three things: elevated the half-Jewish shortstop Lou Boudreau as their manager; led the way for racial integration in the American League by signing the first African-American player in AL history, Larry Doby, in 1947 AND signing the greatest pitcher in the Negro Leagues era, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Satchell Paige, at the age of 42; and hiring one of the most blessed individuals in the history of Major League Baseball, Hank Greenberg, as their new General Manager. In 1948, the Indians beat the Boston Braves in the World Series to be World Champions for the first time in TWENTY-EIGHT years!
- For FORTY Year Curses: the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox brought disgrace – forever – to the game of Major League Baseball by throwing the 1919 World Series in the so-called “Black Sox” Scandal. The Chicago White Sox franchise was cursed with a 40-year drought of AL pennants, finally breaking through in 1959. They got to the World Series with the “Go-Go Sox” of 1959 (because of speedsters like shortstop Luis Aparicio), but lost to the newly-blessed Los Angeles Dodgers (who had this left-handed youngster who LOOKED PRETTY GOOD in his loss…)
- For 84-year Curses:
- The Red Sox – original “Curse of the Bambino”: the Boston Red Sox were cursed in 1920 when they disrespectfully sold a blessed player to their hated rivals, the New York Yankees, fella by the name of George Herman Ruth. The Babe had won three Championships with Boston; he would win 4 with the Yankees for a total of SEVEN. It took 84 years – and a lot of cursed agony – but the Red Sox curse was finally broken when they “miraculously” came from a 3 – 0 game deficit to the Yankees and beat the Bronx Bombers in the biggest choke in MLB history… and steam-rolled the “deer-in-the-headlights” Cardinals in four straight. They would win the World Series for the first time in 86-years… and exactly 84 years since they disrespected the Babe. Wasn’t there something about … I don’t know… BLOOD being a sign of a sacrifice to be acceptable to Yahweh in the Tanach? Anyway…
- The Philadelphia Phillies, early in the 1897 season, disrespectfully refused to sign a player in the minor leagues, calling him “too big and awkward to play Major League ball”. So John Peter Wagner – better known by his nicknames “Hans” “ Honus”, or “The Flying Dutchman” – would become the Greatest Shortstop in ML history He then signed with the Louisville Eclipses and, later, when the National League contracted, the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Phillies were cursed for 84-years. The lifting of the “Curse of the Dutchman” was manifested by that very odd game played at Wrigley Field on May 17, 1979 between the Phillies and the Cubs – the one that ended with a 23 – 22 Phillies win. The Phillies finished fourth in 1979, but not only won the pennant in 1980, but won their first World Series title that year.
- The Brooklyn Dodgers: In 1871, the first professional baseball league was established, the National Association. Brooklyn was an early hot bed of many teams in the early days of baseball – like the Brooklyn Atlantics and the Brooklyn Excelsiors. But they did not field a professional team in the NA in 1871 – their teams stayed amateur, for the time being. So, the best slugger at the time – a Jewish man named Lipman Pike – instead of playing for one of his hometown Brooklyn teams, had to play for the Troy Haymakers in his first (official) professional season. In fact, the Brooklyn teams had been disrespecting Lip Pike for years – in 1866, he had to play in Philadelphia as a “foreigner” from Brooklyn because none of his hometown teams would take him. He was considered the first professional because the Philadelphia team paid him under the table to play for them. So- for the Brooklyn baseball teams’ disrespectful treatment of their first super-star, Elohim cursed the city of Brooklyn with an 84-year curse. (Even before the Dodgers’ franchise existed!) Look at the Brooklyn Dodgers history – looks like they were cursed to me! Well, at least till … they did sign that hometown Jewish boy in December of 1954 as a 19-year-old bonus baby (they couldn’t send him down to the minors by the rules of the day). So the young southpaw mostly spent the next year on the Dodger’s bench. But – the Brooklyn Dodgers, AFTER GOING 0 AND SEVEN in World Series up to that point, finally defeated the New York Yankees in 1955 to win their FIRST Championship. Even though that kid was taking a college class when his team won, there did seem to be a correlation between his signing and the Brooklyn Dodgers finally… FINALLY … winning the World Championship. Kid’s name? That southpaw that would lose a game in the 1959 Series – but he did pretty good for the Dodgers when they moved to LA – Sandy Koufax was his name, I believe. 1871 + 84 = 1955 – but these must all be coincidences… mustn’t they?
- The Chicago White Sox: they were cursed from the time the Black Sox scandal was publically revealed – September of 1920. So – starting in 1921… count 84 years and you come to… 2005. Look at who won the World Series in 2005. Another one of those coincidences, I imagine.
- The New York Giants: after taking credit for “stopping Babe Ruth” in the 1921 and ’22 Series, which the Giants won over the Yankees, John McGraw publically bad-mouthed Ruth – disrespecting a blessed individual. He mistreated another blessed player – Casey Stengel –after his outstanding 1923World Series, in a losing effort to the Yankees, by trading him to the Boston Braves. McGraw also publically humiliated “The Rabbi of Swat” – a Jewish slugger named Mose Solomon – by not keeping his promise to play him at the end of the 1923 season, then not paying him, but expecting him to stick around and watch the World Series. Solomon took an offer to make some money playing professional football, instead. The 84-year curse was on – with two relenting seasons in 1933 (the very year after John McGraw retired, when manager Bill Terry added two Jewish players, catcher Harry Danning and outfielder Phil Weintraub, to the team), and in 1954 when they had two blessed individuals of promise, outfielder Willie Mays and manager Leo Durocher. The 84-year curse was over in 2007. That year, the Giants signed a young left-hander they drafted – a Christian young man with a Jewish-sounding last name, Madison Bumgarner. The curse was broken – the Giants won in 2010, 2012, and 2014. And in that 2014 Series – who was that lefty who reminded us so much of another dominant lefty? He was amazing, wasn’t he? Sort of like he was… I don’t know… blessed?
OK – time to review Cub history.
Johnny Kling and Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown: The Cubs may have been cursed early in their history – because of Cap Anson’s racism – but I’m not sure. They were a blessed team until at least 1908. They did have a prominent Jewish player – catcher Johnny Kling (whose wife was Jewish, even though he was not born Jewish). According to Wikipedia, “… unlike many ballplayers of his day, he didn’t smoke, drink or chew tobacco. Staying in good shape as a result was said to contribute to his baseball success.” He played with the Cubs during their “Glory Era”, from 1900 to 1908. He was an integral part of their record-setting team of 1906 and their two World Champion teams, in 1907 and 1908.
They also had another blessed player, who may or may not have had Jewish ancestry: their best pitcher of the era, Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown. He was called “Morty” by his teammates, but the world knew him as “Three-Finger” Brown. He got that name because he lost part of his right hand – his pitching hand – in, not one, but TWO farming accidents as a boy. Because of this apparent handicap, though, he was able to throw curve balls that were often unhittable. He used his oddly distorted hand to be the ace of the Cubs’ staff, from the time he joined the team in 1904 until he left the Cubs after the 1912 season. He won 188 games for the Cubs and lost only 86 for a .686 Winning Percentage.
As far as I can tell, he’s the only Major League player with the first name of Mordecai. Mordecai was a blessed individual in the Bible, the uncle of Queen Esther. He was used by Elohim to save the Jewish people from Haman’s wicked plot in the Medo-Persian Empire. Jewish people still celebrate their deliverance, because of Mordecai, on Purim.
Morty Brown was a key player in the Cubs’ record-setting 1906 season, when he went 26 – 6 for a team that ended the season with a record of 116 wins and only 36 defeats. He was second on the team, only to Frank Chance, with a WAR rating of 7.2. He was instrumental in the Cubs’ World Series victories in 1907 and 1908. In 1908, the last year the Cubs won the World Series, he had a vital role in winning the pennant. When the NL decided that the Merkle game had to be replayed, Brown pitched in relief of the starter Jack Pfeister and won the game 4 – 2 with an extremely hostile Polo Grounds crowd ready to kill the Cubs. They needed a police escort to get off the field, out of the ballpark, and back on a train out of town as fast as they could go. In the Cubs last Championship season, Brown was their best player, leading the team with a WAR of 8.1.
I believe that the way the Cubs treated him brought the first curse on the Cubs when they cut him after the 1912 season. Just as he was turning 36, they released their former ace disrespectfully. The date was October 12, 1912. I know this was a week before his birthday, but it WAS his birthday according to the Jewish calendar. So – he was born on 1 Cheshvan … he was released on 1 Cheshvan. He did play briefly for the Cubs in 1916, his last season, but the Cubs still disrespected him. This is at least a 7 year curse.
The 1918 World Series: This was “Strike Two.” Listen to this AP article from 2011 published in the on-line version of USA Today, discussing a book written by Sean Deveney called “The Original Curse” – his title, not mine – about the Cubs throwing the 1918 World Series to the Red Sox, just a year BEFORE the Chicago WHITE SOX threw the 1919 Series.
“They didn’t make much money,” said Sean Deveney, a reporter with The Sporting News whose book, “The Original Curse,” said a fix by the Cubs was likely. “They had the incentive to do something like that.”
Both the Cubs and the Red Sox were upset that the teams’ owners were not paying their fair share of the World Series receipts, Deveney said. Before one Series game in Boston, the two squads refused to come on the field until the owners paid them what they were promised.
“The owners said no,” Deveney said.
Deveney said the players quickly understood that they could not win a public relations battle by refusing to play a game during World War I, not in a ball park filled with soldiers. So they played.
So did the Cubs throw the Series? No great hitter suddenly forgot how to hit, and the Cubs pitchers were terrific, finishing the Series with an astonishing 1.04 ERA.
Still, “there were definitely some suspicious plays,” Deveney said, and most of them involved outfielder Max Flack.
In the fourth game, Flack was picked off not once, but twice. Flack turned a catchable fly ball in the sixth and final game into an error that allowed two runs to score in the Red Sox’s 2-1 win.
And there was the time Babe Ruth came to the plate for the Red Sox — a pitcher at the time, but emerging as one of the game’s best hitters — and the Cubs’ pitcher, Lefty Tyler, saw that Flack was not playing deep enough in right field.
“He waved him back and Flack just stood there,” Deveney said. “Sure enough, Babe hit one over his head” for a triple that scored two runs.
Later in the game, Cubs pitcher Phil Douglas came in the game long enough to field a grounder and throw the ball over the first baseman’s head, allowing the decisive run to score in the Red Sox’s 3-2 win.
A few years later, Douglas was banned from baseball for what the papers called “treachery” after proposing that another team in the pennant race pay him to leave the team and “go fishing.”
All six games in the 1918 Cubs-Red Sox Series were close — Boston never won a game by more than a run — and it would only take a dropped ball here or a badly thrown ball there to turn victory into defeat.
“It didn’t take much to throw a game,” Deveney said. “It really didn’t.”
If there is a record of a baseball official asking Cicotte a single question about the 1918 World Series, Deveney doesn’t know about it.
“Baseball didn’t want to investigate,” he said. “They wanted to make it all about the Black Sox and say, ‘OK, gambling’s gone.'”
And what if the Cubs — a team that hasn’t won a World Series in 103 years, blaming the curse of a goat and the glove of a fan named Steve Bartman along the way — had actually beaten Boston back in 1918?
“It would have bumped the curse up a decade,” joked Alter. “We could be looking at a century (without winning a World Series) seven years from now.”
Posted 4/20/2011 5:00:45 PM | Updated 4/20/2011 5:08 PM
The beginning of the article discusses a statement by Eddie Cicotte – one of the most prominent players involved in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal – in his deposition, saying that they got the idea from the Cubs, who had thrown the Series a year earlier. It’s interesting, indeed, that Sean Deveney would title his book on the 1918 World Series as “The Original Curse.” In the forward of his book, he says he doesn’t believe in curses – he says “Curses are, of course, silly. They’re irrational ways to answer this perfectly rational question, ‘Why doesn’t my team win?’ In the cases of the Cubs and the Red Sox, that question was asked so many times and over such a long period that a curse came to look at as logical an answer as any other. Reasonable fans don’t take the notion of curses seriously…”
Or DO they? If there were no evidences that these were curses, then I wouldn’t believe it either. But… there are abundant evidences, as stated above and below. Curses are REAL – when they come from, not “the baseball gods” who, yes, do not exist, but from Elohim… Yahweh… Abba Father… His curses ARE real and are RECOGNIZED as such by many of us fans. Read my Essay on “The Day Luzinski Dropped That Fly Ball: What It’s Like When Your Team is Cursed.”
So – it would logically follow, that if the Cubs deliberately “threw” the 1918 Series – and there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that at least a few of them did – then this is certainly grounds to judge the franchise with another curse. This one – the second curse – lasted from 1919 (the next year) to 1933 – a 14-year curse that included the 1929 Series and the 1932 Series. Or – I hear some of you saying that “Throwing a World Series is a serious offense! If the White Sox got an 84-year curse, why shouldn’t the Cubs get one?” Oh – how clever! OK – I did say, when this started, that I think the Cubs have been the most cursed team in Major League Baseball, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see multiple curses, overlapping each other.” That makes sense. So… the Black Sox Scandal broke at the end of the 1920 season, so, starting in 1921, 84 years took us to 2005, when the Black Sox Curse was lifted and the White Sox won the Championship. So… let’s see… the Cubs threw the 1918 World Series, but never got caught. But Elohim knows all things – He knows that they did. So – starting in 1919, count 84 seasons… and that takes us to….
If you’re a true Cubs’ fan, I need not continue.
But you say – “But I thought, when a curse was broken, it meant GOOD things would happen! Bartman-Moises Alou – Alex Gonzales – that was BAD – REALLY BAD.” And you would be right. The reason it was so bad was that all the curses were NOT up. It was a sign, alright – an EVIL sign. One 84-year curse was over, but the sign of it being finished was a NEGATIVE sign because ANOTHER 84-year curse was still in place… which we will soon see.
Curses are often manifested by something odd or unique about the event. Do you know what is odd or unique about the 1918 World Series? It was a “September Classic” – this was the only World Series that occurred in September, a month early because of World War 1… The Cubs lost to the Red Sox, led by none other than left-handed pitcher Babe Ruth… It is also significant that the Cubs’ roster included a player whose base-running blunder had cost the New York Giants the pennant in 1908 – Fred Merkle…And another amazing connection: Game One of the 1918 World Series marked the first time “The Star Spangled Banner” was performed at a Major League game.
This World Series could have been another time when the Cubs’ fans started their disrespect of a visiting player who was blessed – Babe Ruth. In Game One, the Bambino shut out the home-town Cubs at Weeghman Park (rechristened Wrigley Field in 1925), 1 – 0. There’s no doubt his bad relationship with the Cubs’ fans started here. He was continuing a scoreless streak that had started in the 1916 Series, which ended in Game Four in the 8th inning.
The 1929 World Series (The Curse Manifests): The Cubs next got to the World Series in 1929. Their line-up was a strong one, including Charlie Grimm, Hack Wilson, Rogers Hornsby, Riggs Stephenson, and Kiki Cuyler. There are two reasons to believe they were still cursed – the astonishing Game One performance by the Philadelphia A’s pitcher Howard Ehmke and the Game Four “Mack Attack.” Because the Cubs were a predominantly right-handed-hitting team, Connie Mack decided to keep his left-handers – including one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Lefty Grove – in the bullpen. In Game One, he started aging right-hander Howard Ehmke. The 35-year old starter stunned everybody with a 13-strikeout performance against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the first World Series game ever played there with its new name, winning the opening game 3 – 1.
The A’s won Game Two, but the Cubs won Game Three. In Game Four, Connie Mack started the right-handed 46-year old Jack Quinn. Unlike Ehmke, though, the soft-tossing Quinn got pounded – the Cubs got 7 runs off of him in his less than 6 innings of work. The Cubs were ahead 8 – 0 going into the bottom of the seventh. Then… the “Mack Attack” came! When the smoke cleared, the A’s had scored 10 runs and were now leading 10 – 8. The key play came when Cubs’ outfielder Hack Wilson lost a fly ball by Mule Haas in the sun, letting it fall in for an inside-the-park home run that scored three runs. The A’s then won Game Five to take the Series.
The Babe’s Called Shot (Strike Three- for the Cubs): The Cubs won the NL pennant again in 1932. They played the Yankees, in what would be Babe Ruth’s last World Series. The Yankees won the first two games in New York. During those games, the players started jawing at each other mercilessly. It started mainly because the Cubs had decided to NOT give a full World Series share to former Yankee Mark Koenig. It got vicious when the Cubs’ coaches got into it, as well as the players.
When they came out to Wrigley in Game Three, the Cubs’ fans were ready to let the Yankees have it – especially that fat loudmouth, Ruth. The invective poured out on all the Yankees, but especially the Babe, from the Cubs players and from the fans. They started throwing things from the stands – a situation that could have been dangerous for the players. A lemon that was thrown at Ruth rolled ominously near home plate as the Bambino approached the plate in the fifth inning. The Cubs bench jockeys were letting him have it with both barrels, as were the fans. Ruth was returning their attacks with his mouth and with his gestures.
Here is the story, in the Babe’s own words: Anyway, we got into Chicago for the third game, that’s where those Cubs really decided to get on us. They were in front of their home folks and I guess they thought they better act tough.
We were giving the Cubs h— about how cheap they were to Mark Koenig only votin’ him a half-share in the Series and they were callin’ me big belly and balloon-head, but I think we made ‘em madder by giving them that ol’ lump-in-the-throat sign … you know, the thumb and finger at the windpipe. That’s like callin’ a guy yellow.
We were tied 4 – 4 going into the fifth frame…. I didn’t know whether they were gonna get on me any more or not when I got to the box, but I saw a lemon rolling out to the plate and I looked over and there was [Cubs’ pitchers] Malone and Grimes with their thumbs in their ears wiggling their fingers at me.
I told Hartnett: “If that bum (Charlie Root) throws me in here, I’ll hit it over the fence again,” and I’ll say for Gabby, he didn’t answer, but those other guys were standing up in the dugout, cocky because they’d got four runs back and everybody hollerin’. So I just changed my mind. I took two strikes and after each one I held up my finger and said, “That’s one” and “That’s two.” Ask Gabby… he could hear me. Then’s when I waved to the fence!
No, I didn’t wave to any spot, but as long as I’d called the first two strikes on myself, I hadda go through with it. It was d________ foolishness, sure, but I just felt like doing it and I felt pretty sure Root would put one close enough for me to cut at, because I was showin’ him up… he hadda take a chance as well as I did or walk me!
Gosh, that was a great feelin’ … getting’ a hold of that ball and I knew it was going someplace. .. yes sir, you can feel it in your hands when you’ve laid wood on one. How that mob howled. Me? I just laughed… laughed to myself going around the bases and thinking, “You lucky bum … lucky, lucky.”
… I could see the Cubs and I just stopped on third and laughed out loud, slapped my knees and yelled: “Squeeze-the-Eagle-Club” so they’d know I was referrin’ to Koenig and for special to Malone and called him “meat-head” and asked when he was gonna pitch.
Yeah, it was silly. I was a blankety-blank fool. But I got away with it and after Gehrig homered, behind me, their backs were broken. It was a day to talk about. (Babe Ruth as told to John P. Carmichael, My Greatest Day in Baseball, 1968, pp. 139 – 143)
Of the many, many great days Ruth could point to, isn’t it interesting that he picked THIS one as his GREATEST?
So – did the Babe call his shot or not? I say –Yes! Now, I know that it’s controversial, and the Cubs say that Charlie Root would have hit him, or at least knocked him down, if he knew what the Babe was doing. Here’s what happened, based on what I know about the incident: He called his shot, but he didn’t intend to call his shot.
OK – Ruth did what he said he did: he called “Strike One” on himself, then “Strike Two.” When he indicated “Strike Two,” he pointed out toward the pitcher. For everybody watching, who didn’t know what was going on, they saw the Babe point out toward the centerfield fence, near the flagpole. That’s what it looked like from the stands. When he belted the next pitch to the spot he seemed to be pointing to, he realized what he had done – inadvertently, but actually. He knew he had “Called His Shot” by the way he reacted and by his memory of the incident. The Wrigley fans clearly saw him “call his shot.” I’ve heard a recording of the radio broadcast of the event – the announcer clearly believed that he had “called his shot.” In a later interview, the Babe, significantly, gave credit where it belonged, when he explained it by saying, “I guess the Good Lord was with me.” George Herman “Babe” Ruth gave public credit to the One who he recognized as controlling all things.
This was Strike Three – this sign that is very well known even in this modern culture was a sign of the Ultimate Curse: 84 years. Because of the way the Cubs’ players and fans at Wrigley treated the Bambino – with an extreme level of disrespect for a blessed individual – Elohim lowered the boom with a sign that cannot be denied: “The Babe’s Called Shot.”
That happened at the end of the 1932 season, so “The Curse of the Bambino, Chicago Style” started counting with the 1933 season… and, 84 seasons later brings us to… 2016.
But, unfortunately, the Cubs didn’t repent… so Elohim didn’t relent…
The 1935 World Series: The Cubs and their fans didn’t learn from their assault on Babe Ruth in 1932 – if anything, they were WORSE in 1935. The greatest Jewish slugger of all time was Hank Greenberg. Greenberg had famously honored Yahweh (even though he was not really a “religious” person) and his parents by deciding to play on Rosh Hashanah in the pennant race of 1934, but not on the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. He was blessed for playing on the Jewish New Year – he hit two home runs to win the game for the Tigers, 2 – 1). His decision not to play on Yom Kippur had a profound effect on many people at the time and to later generations, for everyone who stands on an important principle, but especially to young Jewish people. His team was blessed by winning the 1934 AL pennant (but losing the World Series to the “Gashouse Gang” Cardinals), and by winning the World Series in 1935. The Cubs were the NL pennant winners. They had decided to especially attack – Hank Greenberg with a vicious string of Anti-Semitic remarks. Not only were they attacking someone whom Elohim had blessed, but they were doing it at a very sensitive time in World History. The Jews had no homeland (Israel would not exist for 10 more years) and Hitler had recently risen to power in Germany, raising Anti-Semitism to an extremely high level.
The Tigers won the first two games in Detroit. Greenberg hit a homerun in Game Two. Later in the game, however, he was seriously injured trying to score when he ran into Cubs’ catcher Gabby Hartnett. Although he finished the game (in extreme pain), he was out for the rest of the Series. Despite his position on the Detroit bench, his injured condition did NOT stop the mouths of the Cubs – or their fans at Wrigley for Game Three. The Anti-Semitic invective got so nasty that, against direct orders from Judge Landis, the Baseball Commissioner, umpire George Moriarty ejected three Cubs (including their manager) from their dugout. He gladly paid the $200 fine he received for his ejections in a World Series game, but he felt that he had to protect Greenberg. The Cubs lost in six games.
The 1945 World Series: Ten years later, the same two teams found themselves facing each other again in a World Series that occurred just after the end of World War Two. Most of the stars had not yet returned, with one bright, shining exception. After 4 and a half seasons away from the game, Hank Greenberg had returned to lead his team of Tigers to the AL pennant. He had even hit a grand slam on the final day of the season to put Detroit in the World Series… again. The Cubs also played well down the stretch. But, in terms of the way the players and the fans treated Greenberg, there was no difference – they were vicious and vile. This time, though, it was worse, because Greenberg had returned as a hero and the details of the Holocaust were being revealed to a horrified world. The first three games were in Detroit – war-time travel restrictions – and the last four of the seven-game Series were at Wrigley.
It must have been nasty – again.
The Tigers won in seven, but that was it for Elohim: because of their Anti-Semitic invective, the Cubs were sent into exile – no World Series appearances for SEVENTY YEARS. That was as long as the Babylonian Exile of the Jewish people lasted.
Meaning … 1945 plus 70 = 2015. The Exile is up… the Cubs will win in 2016.
- Terrible teams and awful seasons from 1946 to about 1967…
- “The College of Coaches” – the completely wrong-headed attempt to change the way the game is managed… started in 1961… ending in 1965…
- “The Curse of the Koufax Cadenza”: Sandy Koufax curses the Cubs by throwing his fourth – last – no-hitter – a Perfect Game that went down in the annals of baseball as one of the greatest pitched games of All Time! That 49-year curse was reversed when Jake (Jacob or Israel) Arrieta pitched a no-hitter FOR the Cubs AGAINST the Dodgers at the same location – Dodger Stadium.
- The Collapse to the Miracle Mets in 1969: Even though the Cubs had done the right thing by hiring a blessed individual – Leo Durocher – even he was no match for “The Cub Curses.”
- The many years of great promise, ending with bitter “June Swoons”…
- The 23-22 loss to the Phillies on May 17, 1979 – the game that signaled the end of the Phillies’ “Curse of the Flying Dutchman”… at the expense of the Cubs
- The Three ex-Cubs Rule: the joke that went around that no team will ever win a World Series with three or more ex-Cubs on their roster… that seemed to be true… According to a Wikipedia entry (no kidding) titled “The Ex-Cub Factor”: The theory was developed in October 15, 1981 by Ron Berler, a freelance journalist and Cubs fan. Berler posited in an article that “it is utterly impossible for a team with three or more ex-Cubs to win the series.” Berler based this on a pattern that he observed in the post-1945 (the last year the Chicago Cubs made it to a World Series) era….Berler relates the relationship to the inherent “cubness” that ex-Cubs take to their future teams. In the original article, he wrote that “the ballclub possesses eerie, bewitching powers over its players” and that “‘Cubness’…is synonymous with the rankest sort of abject failure, and is a condition chronic among all Cubs, past and present.”…
Mike Royko, who popularized the term in his columns in Chicago, wrote that cubness was a “virus” where “Three or more ex-Cubs could infect an entire team with the will to lose, no matter how skillful that team might appear.” Berler adopted a similar explanation in later articulations, writing that the virus “attacks all who’ve played for the Cubs, even if only for a single day. There is no inoculation, no cure. When traded to another team, ex-Cubs become carriers of this debilitating disease—the ticks of baseball. Any World Series team infested with three or more of them turns addled and confused, losing all ability to win.”
The ex-Cub Factor was extensively on display in the 1986 World Series. Can you guess who the ONLY EX-CUB on either team was? That’s right – Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner.
The ex-Cub Factor was, in fact, violated in two World Series: the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks had 4 ex-Cubs to the Yankees 2… and the glorious 2008 Fall Classic, where the victorious PHILLIES had 3 to the Rays 1.
- Leon Durham’s Error in the 1984 NLCS: Leading by a run late in the game, with what should have been a Cubs’ victory to get them into the World Series, Tim Flannery of the Padres hits a ground ball that goes through the legs of Cubs’ first baseman Leon Durham. The Padres win the game… and eventually, the series…
- The 1986 World Series: “The Curses of the Bambino” meet when ex-Cub Bill Buckner makes the most famous blunder in MLB history, sinking his Red Sox team to another crushing defeat…
- The Cubs’ Batting Glove: Wouldn’t ya know it – a famous photograph of Bill Buckner after “The Error for the Ages” shows him wearing a Cubs’ batting glove under his first baseman’s mitt – no kidding!
- Brant Brown Drops the Playoffs, 1998: In late September 1998, in the thick of the race for the Wild Card: after leading at one point 7 – 0, the Cubs are still leading the Brewers 7 – 5; all the Cubs have to do is hold them in the ninth. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded, the Brewers’ hitter lifts an easy fly ball to left where the Cubs’ Brant Brown… drops it. All three runs score… Brewers win 8 – 7.
- 2003: We’ll leave it at that – most Cub fans remember the horrible details. Just think: there can be five first pitches on 2017 Opening Day at Wrigley when they raise the 2016 World Champion Cubs banner: Steve Bartman, Moises Alou, Mark Pryor, Alex Gonzalez – all will be forgiven – and 2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist.
And now – some positive signs…
- 2014: The hiring of Theo Epstein as “Club President” – a Jewish man who JUST HAPPENED to have led the other most cursed team (the Red Sox) out of their deep valley.
- Tisha B’av and Cole Hamels: The first time the Cubs had been no-hit since 1965 by… that Jewish fellow. It marked the end of the Era of Losing.
- The Defeat of the Cardinals in 2015: Yes – now we’re into positive signs that the Curses are O’er. The Cubs were the Five seed – and they beat the One seed. They lost to the Mets, sure, but… NOT IGNOMINIOUSLY. They just lost.
- The Signing of Ben Zobrist: Signing an Evangelical believer who was great for his team last October as they took the 2015 Championship… yeah, good move. He’s a believer with a very Jewish-sounding name – also good.
I am – and remain – a worthless servant of the Most High! It is HE who has orchestrated all this. WHEN the Cubs win this year, may HE get all the glory!
June 12, 2016