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Joe Maddon was proud to make his mark on Cubs history, just like he did in Tampa Bay

Joe Maddon will forever be remembered as the manager who broke the curse.Getty Images

When he was hired last year to be manager of the Chicago Cubs. Joe Maddon knew what he was getting into. He knew all about the ‘Curse of the Billy Goat’ and was equally aware of Steve Bartman’s infamous role in derailing the franchise’s World Series dreams a few years ago.

None of that mattered, Maddon now says, still fresh from leading the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years a month ago. Plenty of managers have come into Wrigley Field and attempted to lead the Cubs to the World Series, some of whom had some stacked rosters. But for one reason or another, they all failed in their quest to bring a title to the storied albeit beleaguered franchise.

That is, until, Maddon came along and took the Cubs to the World Series in his second season with the team.

“Oh no. I don’t mean to seem pretentious, that’s never been the issue. It’s baseball. It’s baseball. All the goat stuff and superstition stuff, you can’t control what people what think,” Maddon said. “That was never the part of my concern. The part that was kind of cool was to be a part of the team that won for the first time in [108] years. That was much more relevant to me.”

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Maddon spoke at an event at Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center located on the campus of Montclair State University. Chicago is his third team managed after two stints with the Anahein Angels and a successful tenure with the overachieving Tampa Bay Rays.

“It’s almost like when I got my job with the Devil Rays, I always wanted to be a part of an expansion franchise, because you thought you could really put your mark on it, they’ve never done anything before. So going to the Cubs, even though there is a wonderful rich tradition,” Maddon said. “Having not won a Series in 108 years, there was also that ability to put your mark on the whole situation. That’s where the allure was. It was nothing about breaking curses or goats.”

 
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