After 107 long years of pain and suffering, the Chicago Cubs and their fans were supposed to end the 2015 season with a parade instead of heartache. After all, Marty McFly and Doc Brown predicted it. But what began as the fulfilment of an ’80s movie prophecy instead quickly turned into a nightmare -- a sweep at the hands of the Mets in the NLCS -- and yet another curse in the long, and still suffering, history of the North Siders. Now take a look back at the Cubs’ most infamous postseason curses.
Ilya S. SavenokIlya S. Savenok
1907-08: Cubs win back-to-back World Series titles
In 1907, the Cubs faced the Detroit Tigers in what was then called the 'World's Championship Series.' Stellar starting pitcher Mordecai 'Three-Finger' Brown helped lead the Cubs to a four-game sweep of the Ty Cobb-led Tigers for the franchise's first-ever title. The following year, Chicago took on Detroit once again in a rematch of the '07 series, and the Cubs won in five games.
Getty ImagesChicago History Museum
1910-45: Cubs reach World Series seven times, never win
The Cubs appeared in seven World Series over this 35-year period, but failed to win a single title. They lost to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1910 and 1929, the Boston Red Sox in 1918, the New York Yankees in 1932 and 1938, and the Tigers in 1935 and 1945. One of the most notable moments from this period was in the 1932 series, when Babe Ruth 'called his shot' and the other came in 1945 ...
Getty ImagesB Bennett
1945: Curse of the Billy Goat
The Cubs faced the Tigers in the 1945 World Series, in what has long been the most famous Cubs loss of all time. William 'Billy' Sianis, a fan and owner of the local Billy Goat Tavern, brought his pet goat to help him cheer on Chicago and bring the team good luck. But the pair was asked to leave because the goat smelled so badly it was bothering other fans. Wrigley officials kicked Billy and his goat out of the stadium, prompting Billy to place a 'curse' on the Cubs, saying 'The Cubs ain't gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field.' The Cubs have not returned to the World Series since.
1969: The Black Cat Curse
While it wasn't a postseason moment, it might as well be one, because the 'Black Cat Curse' could've been responsible for the Cubs' epic collapse in 1969. As the clear-cut favorite to easily win the World Series in '69, Chicago was 9 1/2 games ahead of the Mets in mid-August when the tailspin began. During a game at Shea Stadium on Sept. 9, a black cat crawled out of the dugout and crossed the path of third baseman Ron Santo as he stood in the on-deck circle. It was all downhill from there. The Cubs went just 8-12 in the final weeks of the season, while the Mets surged to 18-5 to take over the Cubs' top spot in the division and go to the postseason, where the 'Amazin' Mets' won their first title.
1984: Through Durham's legs
In 1984, the Cubs made the playoffs for the first time in 39 years, reaching the NLCS where they faced the San Diego Padres. Up two games to none in the best-of-five series, the Cubs were well on their way to claiming the pennant. But that's when, in typical Cubs fashion, everything fell apart. Chicago lost he next two games, forcing a Game 5. The Cubs got out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Padres rallied for two runs in the sixth and took the lead in the seventh after an egregious error by Leon Durham. The Cubs first baseman watched a grounder roll right through his legs — thanks to his Gatorade-soaked glove, legend has it. The Padres won the game and the series, and the Cubs' misery continued.
Getty ImagesFocus On Sport
2003: Steve Bartman incident
It was on Oct. 14, 2003 that Steve Bartman was transformed from a Cubs fan to a symbol of the team's seemingly cursed existence. On that fateful night, the Cubs were leading the Marlins 3-0 in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the NLCS — five outs away from the World Series. With a runner on second base and one out, the Marlins' Luis Castillo lifted a ball down the left-field line that drifted toward the seats. Bartman reached for and deflected the ball just as Cubs left fielder Moises Alou tried to snag it for the second out. The Marlins rallied and won Games 6 and 7, then went on to win the World Series.
2007-08: Back-to-back NLDS sweeps
The Cubs found their way back to the postseason in 2007, but made an early exit, as they were swept 3-0 by the Arizona Diamondbacks. So when they returned to the playoffs in '08, they went to extreme measures in hopes of breaking the postseason curse. While the team called on a priest to sprinkle holy water in the dugout, fans took matters into their own hands and hung a skinned goat off the Harry Caray statue outside the stadium. Alas, both were failed attempts at exorcising the Cubs' postseason demons — they were swept by the Dodgers in three games.
Getty ImagesLisa Blumenfeld
2015: The Curse of Marty McFly
Oct. 21, 2015. Known for 26 years as 'Back to the Future Day.' But when that famed date -- the date Marty McFly arrived in the future in 1989's 'Back to the Future Part II' -- finally came in real life, it did not bring with it the Cubs' World Series victory promised in the movie. Instead, that was the date the Cubs and their fans suffered their latest heartache. That was the date the Mets swept Chicago out of the playoffs in the 2015 NLCS. In Wrigley Field of all places.