Chicago was 3 runs ahead, and 5 outs away from the World Series. Boston was 3 runs ahead, and 5 outs away from the World Series. Chicago had their ace pitching a shutout at home. Boston had their ace pitching a masterpiece away. And then a fan reached out for a ball he would have done well to leave alone. And then a manager made the decision to let his ace go that little bit longer. And then thoughts turned to next year. It’s been 58 years since Chicago refused a billy goat entrance to Wrigley Field. It’s been 85 years since the Boston sold one Babe Ruth to the Yankees. It’s been 58 years since Chicago last went to the World Series. It’s been 85 years since Boston last won a World Series. Makes you want to believe in ghosts doesn’t it?
Watching the manner in which both the Chicago-Florida and Boston-New York series ended only serves to strengthen that feeling.
Chicago had its two best pitchers going in games 6 and 7. Mark Prior had been practically unhittable all post season long. He had been unhittable all day. Then ‘that fan’ reached for ‘that foul ball’, and Chicago simply imploded. You could hear whispers of the curse already. In fact there was almost an inevitability about Chicago’s loss in game 7, even after Kerry Wood hit his two-run homer to tie the game, and Alou hit his two run homer to take the lead. It seemed to be merely the lull before the storm.
So do ghosts walk baseball fields on cool October nights? Judging from the evidence, one would have to say yes, they do.