Cubs played 1918 World Series at Comiskey
May, 20, 2011
By Bruce Levine
AP PhotoA 23-year-old Babe Ruth clubbed 11 of the Red Sox's 15 home runs in 1918.
A lot has happened in baseball -- and the real world -- since the Chicago Cubs last played the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
The 1918 season was abbreviated because of World War I. That year also marked the last time Babe Ruth played in a World Series for a team other than the New York Yankees. (Ruth was a pitcher at the time – and a darn good one – in Boston.) The Cubs were looking forward to hosting their first World Series game at their beautiful new Weeghman Park, then just four years old, but had to wait until 1929 to host their first World Series game at Clark and Addison. At that time Weeghman Park had only a single lower deck and ballpark capacity was around 14,000. After the Wrigley family purchased the team, they added a second deck and in 1920 changed the name to Cubs Park.
Major League Baseball and the Cubs decided that the team’s home World Series games would be played at Comiskey Park, which was known at that time as “The Baseball Palace of the World.” Erected in 1910, Comiskey Park held twice as many people and had an upper deck, so MLB and the two teams could split more cash from gate receipts by using the White Sox’s ballpark.
AP Photo/M. Spencer GreenSam Sianis, son of Billy, brought a goat to Wrigley Field in 1984 in an attempt to break the curse.
Things didn’t go well for both teams after that World Series. The “Curse of the Bambino” hit the Red Sox when owner Harry Frazee sold Ruth to the Yankees in 1920. Frazee, also a Broadway producer at the time, sold Ruth and several other players in 1919-20 to finance his on-stage productions, including “No No Nanette.” The Red Sox of course didn’t win a World Series again until 2004.
The Cubs had their own curse to deal with, although that only goes back to 1945. The “Billy Goat Curse” supposedly began when Billy Sianis, Cubs fan and owner of the famous Billy Goat Tavern, was told that he couldn’t bring his goat into Wrigley Field for Game 1 of the 1945 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Sianis was irate because he had a ticket for the goat. The curse, if you believe in curses, has lasted 66 years.
The Cubs last won a World Series in 1908 when they defeated the Detroit Tigers. The title came during a stretch of dominant years from 1906-1910, when they won four National League pennants and two World Series (1907, 1908).
That 102-year championship drought has no known curse attached to that, other than poor play on the field and not enough talent.