NEW CARLISLE- Often times in sports, the futility or misfortunes of teams or players are attributed to "curses." Some famous examples include the Madden Curse, the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, the Curse of the Bambino, and the Curse of the Billy Goat.
Many fans of the Old Republic Wiffle Ball League would add the Curse of Chief Wahoo to that list. Despite being one of the league's most successful franchises in the regular season, the New Carlisle Newts have failed year after year in the post-season. A strong case could be made that the franchise is indeed cursed.
During the league's inaugural season in 2007, the Newts asserted themselves as one of the league's elite teams. Unfortunately, the regular season was cut short due to a work stoppage, as losing teams began to lose interest in the new league. However, plans were made to continue with the post-season as scheduled.
A week before the post-season, pranksters struck Migley Field. Brandon and Tiffiany Hora, fans of the Cleveland Indians and residents of the Migleyville neighborhood, secretly placed a bed sheet with the words "Jacobs Field: Home of the Indians!" over the marquee. A picture of the sign was then published in the New Carlisle News.
For the superstitious, the Newts were already walking on thin ice by playing in ballpark built as a tribute to the Cubs, a team well-known for being cursed. By introducing the Indians, the team with the second longest championship drought in baseball into the equation, it seems more demons infiltrated the aura of Migley Field.
Following the debacle, the Newts lost the NLDS to Cornhole, 3-2. However, the other post-season series were not played, so the league does not recognize the series in its post-season history. Although the Newts have advanced to the post-season every year since, the team has only won one post-season series.
Despite having a stellar 20-4 campaign in 2008, the Newts were defeated easily in the World Series by the Sox, 4-1. The World Series was even more lopsided the following year, as the Pterodactyls swept the Newts, 4-0. In 2010, the Newts were unable to advance out of the NLDS, losing to Emery's Army, 2-1. The Newts have tried to reverse the curse on multiple occasions.
First, they converted the Hora's young son, Eathen, into a Cubs fan as a means of revenge. Then in 2008, the Newts signed Marc Lindsey, one of the league's greatest players and a die-hard Indians fan, in an attempt to improve the team's on-field performance. Thus far, each attempt to exorcise the demons of Chief Wahoo has been much like the Newts in the post-season, a failure.
Editor's Note: The Curse of Chief Wahoo was broken on August 18, 2013, when the Newts defeated the Maple City Magic, 18-12, in Game 6 of the ORWBL World Series.