Billy Sianis
William Sianis better known as Billy Sianis , was a Chicago, Illinois tavern owner, who went on to become part of baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 lore because of the famed Curse of the Billy Goat
Curse of the Billy Goat
The curse of the Billy Goat was supposedly placed on the Chicago Cubs in 1945 when Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave a World Series game against the Detroit Tigers at the Cubs' home ground of Wrigley Field because his pet goat's odor was bothering other fans...

 he supposedly put on the Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 after he and his goat
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of...

 were tossed out of game four of the 1945 World Series
1945 World Series
-Game 1:Wednesday, October 3, 1945 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan-Game 2:Thursday, October 4, 1945 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan-Game 3:Friday, October 5, 1945 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan...



Billy Sianis was born in 1895 in Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 (Palaiochoraki, Arkadia
Arkadia may refer to:* Arcadia, a region of Greece, also known as Arkadía* Arkadia , a shopping mall in Warsaw, Poland* Arkadia, Łowicz County in Łódź Voivodeship...

). In 1912 he immigrated to the United States, where he became a prominent Chicago bar owner. In early 1934, two months after the repeal of Prohibition
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

, Sianis purchased the Lincoln Tavern, a bar across the street from Chicago Stadium
Chicago Stadium
The Chicago Stadium was an indoor sports arena and theater in Chicago. It opened in 1929, and closed in 1994.-History:The Stadium hosted the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL from 1929–1994 and the Chicago Bulls of the NBA from 1967–1994....

. That summer a baby goat fell off the back of a truck into the street outside the tavern. Sianis nursed the goat to health and named it "Murphy". Sianis renamed his tavern after the goat, giving the bar its current name (the Billy Goat Tavern
Billy Goat Tavern
The Billy Goat Tavern is a chain of taverns located in Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1937 by Billy Sianis, a Greek immigrant. It achieved fame primarily through newspaper columns by Mike Royko, a supposed curse on the Chicago Cubs, and the Olympia Cafe sketch on Saturday Night Live.It now has...

). Under its new name, the bar was visited by many of Chicago's personalities of the 1940s.

Sianis used his goat to draw attention to his bar; he began wearing a goatee, nicknamed himself "Billy Goat", and began to sneak the goat into unusual locations for publicity stunts.

Sianis was a long-time Cubs fan. On October 6, 1945, he bought two tickets worth $7.20. One of the tickets was for him; the other one was for his goat. He was allowed to parade with the goat on the baseball field before the game started, with the goat wearing a sign stating "We Got Detroit's Goat".

Sianis and his goat watched the game from their seats until the fourth inning. It was then that security personnel told Sianis that he and his goat had to leave, due to complaints about the goat's objectionable odor.

Sianis, according to believers of the curse, was enraged that such action was taken against him and his goat, and he then cursed the team. The exact nature of the curse differs in various accounts of the incident. Some state that Sianis declared that no World Series games would ever again be played at Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field is a baseball stadium in Chicago, Illinois, United States that has served as the home ballpark of the Chicago Cubs since 1916. It was built in 1914 as Weeghman Park for the Chicago Federal League baseball team, the Chicago Whales...

, while others believe that his ban was on the Cubs appearing in the World Series, making no mention of a specific venue. Sianis's family maintains that he sent a telegram to Philip K. Wrigley
Philip K. Wrigley
Philip Knight Wrigley , sometimes also called P.K. or Phil. Born in Chicago, he was an American chewing gum manufacturer and executive in Major League Baseball, inheriting both those roles as the quiet son of his much more flamboyant father, William Wrigley Jr. After his father died in 1932, Philip...

, which read, "You are going to lose this World Series and you are never going to win another World Series again. You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat."

The curse was subsequently "lifted" in public on several occasions, first by Sianis himself in 1969, and several times thereafter by his nephew Sam Sianis, the current owner of the Billy Goat Tavern
Billy Goat Tavern
The Billy Goat Tavern is a chain of taverns located in Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1937 by Billy Sianis, a Greek immigrant. It achieved fame primarily through newspaper columns by Mike Royko, a supposed curse on the Chicago Cubs, and the Olympia Cafe sketch on Saturday Night Live.It now has...

. Nevertheless, many fans are convinced that some residual aspect of the curse persists.

Sianis died in the early morning hours of October 22, 1970, at the St. Clair Hotel where he made his home. Columnist Mike Royko
Mike Royko
Michael "Mike" Royko was a newspaper columnist in Chicago, who won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for commentary...

eulogized Sianis as "[Chicago's] greatest tavern keeper." He attributed the timing of Sianis's death to his work ethic, writing in a column, "It was typical of Billy Goat that he would die during the only five hours of the day when his place wasn't open for business. That's how good a businessman he was."
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