As the Chicago White Sox begin a playoff series against the Houston Astros, we look back at another memorable moment in Chicago baseball history that took place in Houston. In this case, it involved three listeners to the John Williams show who traveled to Houston during the final days of the 2003 regular season. The Astros, who were then in the National League, were involved in a tight battle with the Cubs to reach the postseason. Listeners Jim, David and Bill decided they would travel to Houston, purchase a goat, and attempt to reverse the curse that had plagued the Cubs for decades. According to legend, the curse of the billy goat began when a pet goat was refused entry into Wrigley Field and the goat’s owner placed a curse on the team. The guys’ theory was that if their goat, which they named Virgil Homer, would be refused entry into Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros, the curse would be reversed, it would transfer from the Cubs to the Astros, there would be rainbows and butterflies and World Series victories, and life for Cubs fans would be full of joy. As it turned out, the goat was refused entry, the Cubs finished the regular season one game ahead of Houston, and there was a rainbow. But, well, we won’t talk about what happened during the 2003 playoffs, and it would be another 13 years before the Cubs would fully break the curse as World Series champions. But at least for a few minutes, it was a lot of fun.
Virgil Homer and friends back in Chicago after traveling to Houston to attempt to “Reverse the Curse” in September 2003 (WGN Radio photo)