June 3, 2023

Reference Librarian Jack Bales Debunks Baseball Legend

Reference and Humanities Librarian Jack Bales has written an article debunking the Chicago Cubs’ famous Billy Goat Curse for ChicagoSide, an online sports magazine. The so-called curse dates to 1945, when a Chicago tavern owner was asked to remove his pet goat from the Cubs’ Wrigley Field during the fourth game of the World Series. The angry restaurateur allegedly put a curse on the Cubs, declaring that the team would never again get to the World Series. Bales, who has used original sources to disprove other baseball legends, writes that Chicago journalists not only created the story but also helped perpetuate it. With the passing of many Cubs losing seasons (and perhaps due to shrewd publicity on the part of the restaurant owner), the alleged curse has gained international renown, been the subject of several books, and become a part of Chicago and baseball folklore. Bales originally wrote about the legend for his website, http://WrigleyIvy.com, which he created while participating in UMW’s “Domain of One’s Own” faculty initiative this past spring.