Steve Bartman would rather forget Oct. 14, 2003. That was the day Bartman — a life-long Chicago Cubs fan — gained infamy in Cubs history.
The Cubs were leading the Florida Marlins 3-0 in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. A victory in Game 6 would send the Cubs to their first World Series since 1945.
With one out in the top of the 8th, Florida’s Louis Castillo slammed a ball down the left-field line. As the ball drifted foul, Cubs outfielder Moises Alou raced toward the stands to pluck the ball out of the air. Just as he was about to catch it, Bartman — who had his eye on a souvenier — reached out and knocked the ball away, unaware that Alou was about to make the snag.
The Marlins went on to score 8 runs in the inning and win Game 6. They won Game 7, too, and Cubs fans blamed Bartman for extending the “Curse of the Billy Goat.”
The Billy Goat curse was supposedly placed on the Cubs in 1945 when Billy Sianis, owner of Chicago’s famed Billy Goat Tavern, was asked to leave a World Series game at Wrigley Field because his pet goat’s odor was bothering other fans (The goat’s name was Murphy). Sianis was outraged and declared, “Them Cubs, they aren’t gonna win no more.” And they didn’t. The Cubs not only lost the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers, they spent most the next two decades near the bottom of the National League standings.