Saturday, April 28, 2012

Curse of the Cowboy

Angel Stadium, Anaheim, California
    The Anaheim Angles (I know, I know; they are now the Los Angeles Angels or Anaheim), were born in 1961, the owner was the Cowboy, Gene Autry.
    Management decisions, mis-plays and a host of other mistakes haunted the Angels.  Mr. Autry wanted more than anything for "his" team to win a Championship.  It never happened in his lifetime.  People compare the Angel teams to the Boston Red Sox, a club also known for long-suffering fans, and for collapses in the autumn.
    Then, when all else failed, came the "rally monkey", with fans holding in the air the rally monkey, a common sight at games, the Angels won in 2002.  World Series Champions,  the rally monkey is now standard "protection" for the Angels fans.
Gene Autry
For more information see

Friday, April 27, 2012

Curse of Captain Eddie Grant

Eddie Grant in 1913
  Eddie Grant was a major league player for the New York Giants who, in 1917, became the first major league player to volunteer to fight in The Great War (World War One).  Grant was a Captain in the New York National Guard, the Statue of Liberty Division.
  Captain Grant was killed in action during the Meuse-Argonne Operation in France.  To honor his life and service the New York Giants had a plaque made and it hung on the outfield wall.
   In 1957 the New York Giants left to become the San Francisco Giants and during the move the plaque was lost, maybe looted, it has never been found.
  In 2007 the now San Francisco Giants commissioned a new plaque, a replica of the original, and hung it near an elevator at the new AT&T Park in San Francisco.
  In 2010 the Giants won the World Series.
The Polo Grounds, Giants home in New York
AT&T Park, Giants home in San Francisco

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Curse of Rocky Colavito

  Rocky Colavito was the Major League Home Run king in 1959 but in 1960 Cleveland GM Frank "Trader" Lane traded him to the Detroit Tigers for Harvey Kuenn, who was the American League batting champ in 1959.
  That sounds like sort of an even deal but it wasn't.  New ownership of the Cleveland team had traded every player that was on the team when he purchased it only two years earlier, Colavito was the "last straw".  The Cleveland Indians have not won an American League Pennant and not the World Series since Colavito was traded.
  In the meantime the Indians have had some stellar players and good teams, while they managed to win some Division Titles they have not gone on to win the Pennant.
The Cleveland Municipal Stadium where Colavito played-it's gone now.
The Cleveland Browns and Indians played in this venue.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Curse of the Black Sox

Cominsky Park, Chicago
  In 1919 the Chicago White Sox had several players suspended for the rest of the season, as a result the White Sox couldn't win the League Pennant.  According to baseball writers at the time, and others, it should have been the year that the White Sox went on to win the World Series.
  The incident is call the Black Sox Curse because the players that were suspended were accused of gambling on baseball, the most major no-no of baseball rules.  All of them including Shoeless Joe Jackson were suspended for life.  The saying "say it ain't so Joe" is the result of the suspensions too.
  It is thought that the players gambled to earn more money, the Cominsky family was not very generous with the players.  The Cominskys' sold the Sox to Bill Veeck, and other owners have had the team since.
  In 1959 the White Sox finally won another League Pennant but lost to the Dodgers in the World Series, they would win several more pennants in ensuing years but not the Series.  Finally in 2005 the White Sox won the pennant again, and went on to win the World Series beating the Houston Astros.
Outfielder Aaron Rowand stated that if the Red Sox could "break the curse" and win in 2004, the White Sox could do the same.

The headline of the New York Times.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Curse of the Bambino

Babe Ruth in 1918 Red Sox Uniform
  The "curse" of the Bambino started when Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold his rights, or traded for cash, to the New York Yankees.  There may be some merit to this curse, I'll explain.
  Up to the 1918 season the Red Sox had been in and won one-third of all World Series that had been played.  The Yankees have never been in a World Series much less won one, that team was a lackluster one at best.  The Babe Ruth deal certainly changed all of that!
  Harry Frazee was a Broadway producer, the money he received on the Ruth deal was used to produce the play "My Lady Friends" which went on to become the musical "No No Nanette" five years later,
Frazee sold the Red Sox in 1921.
  There were so many attempts to "break the curse" that I couldn't possibly list them all in one days work (I'm old), but people even hired/paid Father Guido Sarducci to perform an exorcism.  The Sox went on to play in, but not win, eleven World Series.  The Yankees meanwhile won an incredible share of Series and became the team to win the most World Series.

  In my humble opinion the curse ended when Manny Ramirez hit a foul ball into the seats at Fenway Park, it hit a seat in Section 9, Box 95 in Row AA.  The ball hit teenager Lee Gavin, whose favorite player was Ramirez, and Gavin lived at the Sudbury Massachusetts farm once owned by Ruth.  That very day the Yankees played their worst game ever losing to the Cleveland Indians 22-0!

The Curse was reversed!
Harry Frazee
Photos and information from

Monday, April 23, 2012

The curse of Billy Goat and the Chicago Cubs

Wrigley Field, Chicago
  The story behind the curse that the Cubs will never win a World Series in Wrigley Field goes as follows. 
   In 1945, during a World Series game with the Detroit Tigers, a bar owner Billy Sianis - who owned the Billy Goat Tavern, was asked to leave the game.  Fans who were watching the game had complained about the odor of Billy's pet: Billy Goat.  He, and his pet, were thrown out.
   Mr. Sianis sent a telegram to Phil Wrigley, the team owner, that stated; "you will not win this series, and the Cubs will never win a series again, you insulted my pet." or words to that effect.
   Many attempts, by bringing goats to games, have been attempted, nothing has worked, the "Curse of Billy Goat" lives on.
   In 2003 (the Chinese Year of the Goat) the Cubs won the division title and were playing the Florida Marlins for the title to play in the World series.  The Cubs were five outs from winning the game when the Marlins scored eight runs after the "Steve Bateman" incident.
   Bateman reached over a wall and caught a ball, interfering with the play for an out.  The Cubs lost and the Marlins went on to win the World Series.
Mr. Sianis gives Billy Goat a beer at his tavern.
A fan, Steve Bateman, interferes with play.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Winning the lottery

1939 Buick Coupe
  That car up there, or one like it, is for sale at a reasonable price, and I know where.  All I have to do is win the Megabucks, just once.
  Of course there are more practical things I would do first, family for sure and a couple of charities that help people eat, or benefit families of children with autism.
  Other than a new car, not the Buick, there wouldn't be too much change in our living arrangements, maybe a place with more storage and trees.  But then we'd have to dig up the flowers again, nah.
  I realize that the chance I'd have to make these choices are slim to none, but every week I go and buy my tickets; if I don't play I can't win.
  And, I only play Megabucks, none of the great big one that pay out hundreds of millions, I don't have an explanation for that - I just don't buy them.
  It's not a choice I had to make this morning, I didn't have any numbers in last nights drawing.
The new car, Subaru Legacy, with heated seats.
April is Autism Awareness Month