Reporting Dana Kozlov
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Five Cubs fans who walked from Arizona to Chicago in an effort to break the notorious “Curse of the Billy Goat” and raise money for cancer research completed their trip to Wrigley Field on Tuesday, though they couldn’t bring their pet goat on the field with them.
Curses are cast to be broken, or so say some Cubs fans about the notorious “Curse of the Billy Goat” that supposedly has kept the Cubs from returning to the World Series since 1945.
Five lifelong Cubs fans have been trying to break that curse themselves, by walking with a goat halfway across the country.
They started out from Mesa, Arizona, on Feb. 25, and walked all the way to Wrigley Field, arriving Tuesday.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports the five friends made it onto the field at the Friendly Confines on Tuesday, but the Cubs made them leave their goat, “Wrigley,” outside the stadium.
Matt Gregory, Kyle Townsend, Blake Ferrell, Patrick Fisher, Philip Aldrich and their goat trekked 1,764 miles over the past three months.
“My stomach started getting butterflies when I saw Wrigley Field,” Gregory said.
Besides raising money – and lots of it – for cancer research, Gregory, Townsend, Ferrell, Fisher and Aldrich wanted to bring Wrigley the goat into Wrigley Field to try to break the 67-year-old curse – supposedly cast upon the Cubs by the Sianis family during the 1945 World Series.
As legend has it, the Cubs were never the same after P.K. Wrigley refused to let Billy Sianis bring his billy goat into a 1945 World Series game, despite having a ticket. The Cubs lost that series to the Tigers, and haven’t been back since. They haven’t won a World Series since 1908.
“Since then, we have tried on numerous occasions to bring the goat in, but to no avail,” said Tom Sianis, Billy’s great-nephew.
So Gregory, Townsend, Ferrell, Fisher and Aldrich wanted to give it a shot themselves, waltzing Wrigley to the ballpark at the end of their fundraising journey.
Maybe just getting him through the gates would be enough?
“You know, if we could get him through the gates, that would be great, but it’s not our call,” Aldrich said.
It wasn’t. The Cubs wouldn’t let them bring the goat into the stadium, but the team did present the hikers with a check for $1,764 — a dollar for every mile they walked. They humbly accepted, holding a picture of their goat since Wrigley couldn’t come on the field with them.
“Maybe just them donating for cancer research – because Wrigley is the face of the walk – maybe in a way, that’s showing enough respect for the goat,” Gregory said.
If Tuesday’s game against the Padres was any indication – a 5-3 win for the Cubs – maybe they’re on to something.
But the five very tired hikers stressed they really did this to raise money for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. As of Tuesday afternoon, they’d raised well more than $20,000.