World baseball classics  |   Chicago white sox  |   Streaks and milestones  |   National league west
pitching and hitting  |   Baseball Pitcher  |   Baseball Tips  |   White sox series  |   Offseason Strategies
The Fans Speak Out  |   Baseball Issues  |   Baseball Curse

So Now Who's Cursed?
By Adam Conn

The Cubs, of course, have the Curse of the Billy Goat. The White Sox have the Ghosts of the 1919 Black Sox hanging over the team.

But the Indians and Giants may share the same curse — Willie Mays' catch in the 1954 World Series. The Indians entered the World Series with a phenomal 111 win regular season. In the first game, Mays made the spectacular catch and throw in the 8th inning of a tied ball game, setting the stage for Dusty Rhodes to smack a game-winning pinch-hit three run shot in the 10th. Had Mays not made the throw (or catch), the Indians win that game and perhaps carry momentum into the other games. The Giants swept the Indians instead.

But neither team has won a World Series since that year. The Indians waited 41 years just to make the post-season again, losing to the Atlanta Braves in six games. The Giants moved from the Polo Grounds to San Francisco for the 1958 season.

They've played in three World Series since, falling to the Yankees in 1962, getting swept in the 1989 Earthquake series by Oakland, and losing in seven to the Angels in 2002.

Cleveland's big bat of 1954, Bobby Avila (.341-15-67), died at the end of the 2004 season; teammates Larry Doby and Art Houtteman died in 2003, never getting to see their loss avenged. Perhaps they'll be credited with any World Series victory, a la Ted Williams.

The following table shows the last season in which a particular franchise appeared in the post season. It should be noted that the San Francisco Giants have never won the World Series — the 1954 New York Giants were the last team in that franchise's history to achieve that mark.

The Milwaukee Brewers franchise (who entered the league in 1969) has never won the World Series, but the 1957 Milwaukee Braves did. The Montreal Expos, soon moving to Washington DC, likewise have never won since entering the league in 1969, but the Washington Senators did in 1924, and last appeared in the post-season in 1933.

As of the 2004 World Series, the other six franchises never to have won began play in 1961 or later: Texas (1961), Houston (1962), San Diego (1969), Seattle (1977), Colorado (1993), and Tampa (1998).