Another Curse on the Cubs: Cap Anson and Moses Fleetwood Walker
September 30, 2016
The Cubs have been the most cursed team by God in Baseball History, more cursed than the Red Sox. I’ve been exploring why for the past year – since I predicted the Phillies to win the Championship in 2015.
That’s right. I did.
And I was convinced that they would have come back from being the worst team in baseball last year to the best. All the signs were there – they even had three guys named “Aaron,” a blessed name in Scripture.
But they blew it. Not only did they make a Phillies’ baseball card for the “False Prophet” (who came to Philadelphia last September – I’ll let you connect the dots), but they fired Ruben Amaro Jr. on September 10, 2015.
Now – Ruben Amaro may have rightfully been fired for some of the decisions he made that back-fired – the General Manager often gets blamed when personnel choices are wrong in retrospect (football is not the only sport where there are “Monday Morning Quarterbacks”). His contract offer to Ryan Howard now looks hideous, as bad as Howard flailing at yet another “loopy slider” from some left-handed pitcher. But if he had homered instead of blowing out his Achilles’ tendon in the last game against the Cardinals in 2010… the Phillies’ history could be completely different. And – as horrible as Ryan Howard has looked, he has STILL driven in more runs per game over his career than contemporaries Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Edwin Encarnacion, “Big Papi” David Ortiz, and Miguel Cabrera. He’s way ahead of modern players Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto in RBI’S per Plate Appearance.
But the best reason NOT to fire Ruben Amaro is because he was Jewish. The Lord has demonstrated that He often blesses Jewish players (and front office people) and teams that hire Jewish players (and front office people). See the 1948 Cleveland Indians (with player-manager Lou Boudreau, who had a Jewish mother, and new GM Hank Greenberg), who won the World Series that year. See the 2002 Boston red Sox, who hired Theo Epstein, who put together the 2004 Champions. See the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, who had a Jewish owner (Stuart Stenberg), who “chased the Devil out” by dropping that word from their name. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays finished with an average of only 65 wins (and 97 losses) over a ten-year span. The very year they became “The Tampa Bay Rays”, they went all the way to the World Series. (where they lost to a blessed team who had just promoted a Jewish General Manager: The Philadelphia Phillies with a guy named Ruben Amaro, Jr.)
Yeah – it’s the same guy. Just like that guy the Cubs hired to be Team President in 2011, fella named Theo Epstein…
Yeah – you’re catching on.
So – did the Cubs do anything to be cursed in other years? I’ve covered the “Babe’s Called Shot” as a sign of an 84-year curse on the Cubs (1932 + 84 = 2016). I’ve covered the “Curse of the Hebrew Hammer”, which placed a 70-years in exile curse on the Cubs in 1945 (no World Series for 70 years; ending in 2015, so – the Cubs are finished with that one, too.) I’ve covered the “Curse of the Koufax Cadenza” – where the Greatest Pitcher of All Time over a 5-year period (7 years if you start from his performance in the 1959 Series) – Sandy Koufax – cursed the Cubs with his Perfect Game on September 9th, 1965. In the 49th year after that sign, the curse was reversed by two no-hitters: first, Cole Hamels’ no-hitter over the Cubs in Wrigley in July 2015 (the last time the Cubs had been no-hit was… when a Los Angeles lefty pitched a Perfect Game against them in 1965… do I have to make the connection?) The second no-hitter that reversed the curse had to happen at the same field where the Koufax Curse was laid – and it was! Jake Arrieta pitched a no-hitter at Dodgers’ Stadium in August 2015, cancelling the curse.
But these are all just coincidences, right?
How about one more. Below, so I can’t be accused of bias, I copied the Wikipedia entries on Cap Anson and his dealings with African-American Major League players in the 1880’s. Read well – not written by me.
Anson refused to play in exhibition games versus dark-skinned players. On August 10, 1883 he refused to play an exhibition game against the Toledo Blue Stockings because their catcher, Moses Fleetwood Walker, was African American. When Blue Stockings Manager Charlie Morton told Anson the White Stockings would forfeit the gate receipts if they refused to play, Anson backed down.
In 1884, Chicago again played an exhibition game at Toledo, which was now in the American Association, a major league. Walker sat it out, and unclear is whether he did so to placate Chicago or because he was injured; Jimmy McGuire instead did the catching. Both had sore hands, the Toledo Blade had said a few days earlier. Of the two catchers, Walker was seemingly the more injured, as he did not play in Toledo’s second-most recent game. Among Anson’s incidents, this one is unique in that private correspondence provides insight. Three months before the game, Chicago Treasurer-Secretary John A. Brown wrote Toledo manager Charlie Morton that “the management of the Chicago Ball Club have no personal feeling about the matter, while “the players do most decisively object and to preserve harmony in the club it is necessary that I have your assurance in writing that [Walker] will not play any position in your nine July 25. I have no doubt such is your meaning [;] only your letter does not express in full [sic]. I have no desire to replay the occurrence of last season and must have your guarantee to that effort.
Walker and his brother Welday were released from their team later that year, Welday last playing on August 6 and Fleet on September 4. On July 14, 1887 the Chicago White Stockings played an exhibition game against the Newark Little Giants. African American George Stovey was listed in the Newark News as the scheduled Newark starting pitcher. Anson objected, and Stovey did not pitch. Moreover, International League owners had voted 6-to-4 at a 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. meeting in Buffalo on the morning of the game to exclude African-American players from future contracts.
Back to me: Notice – Moses Fleetwood Walker was to play as a Major Leaguer in the 1884 game. That Game was scheduled for July 25th, 1884 (another connection: Cole Hamels’ no-hitter was on July 25th, 2015) Cap Anson refused to play against Walker, leading to the “Gentlemen’s Agreement” not to allow black players in the Major Leagues – in effect until Jackie Robinson took the field on Opening Day for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
Cap Anson was the major figure behind the establishment of the National League team in Chicago. They were called the White Stockings, at first… then were known as the “Chicago Orphans” … who later became the “Chicago Cubs.”
So… if the maximum curse is 84-years, then, if the Lord laid a curse on the Cubs in 1884 because of Cap Anson’s bigotry, did anything happen 84 years later.
1884 + 84 = 1968.
Well, Walker played in the Majors in 1884, so it was in 1885 when the curse would have started.
1885 + 84 = 1969.
Hey, wait a minute! If the Walker Curse was broken in 1969 -shouldn’t that mean the Cubs should have WON in 1969?
Well – yes, sometimes if a curse is broken the team wins immediately (see the 1980 Phillies; see the 2004 Red Sox; see the 2005 White Sox) But – if one curse is over, but there are OTHER curses that haven’t finished (they can overlap), then it usually is a disastrous manifestation of the still-intact curses. Like the 1964 Phillies… like the 1969 Cubs… like the 2003 Cubs (Steve Bartman, Moises Alou) …
Not to worry, Cubs’ fans! As far as I can tell, there are no lingering curses… feel free to enjoy the Cubs’ World Series run THIS YEAR! And don’t forget to thank Elohim for His blessings. After all, if a Cubs’ fan were to ask the Lord for anything, what would it be? A World Series victory, right? It will happen in 2016.