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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 February, 2004, 13:05 GMT
Fan to 'blow away' curse of Cubs
The source of the Cubs' present misery
A fanatical supporter of the Chicago Cubs baseball team is vowing explosive action to blow away the legendary "curse" on the club.

Grant DePorter bought the ball many fans believe cost the Cubs the World Series last year.

Mr DePorter, a partner in a restaurant business, paid $113,824 for the ball in order to have it blown up on live TV.

He has hired a special effects expert to make sure the offending item meets its end in the most dramatic fashion.

The Cubs have failed to win the World Series since 1908.

They were within touching distance of making the Series last year, 3-1 up in the seven-match sequence against the Florida Marlins, when an over-zealous fan knocked the ball from the hands of a Cubs fielder as he was about to catch it.

A Cubs' fan cries
Chicagoans have had it tough

Their fortunes turned, they lost the contest, and angst-ridden supporters have blamed the ball (and the fan) for continuing the "jinx" behind the Cubs' dismal record.

Perhaps because he cannot blow up the fan, Mr DePorter has decided to take vengeance on the ball.

"People say it's a symbol," he told BBC Radio 4.

"Whether it's cursed or not I don't know, but people say 'get rid of it', and we're going to."

According to a Cubs legend, a fan with a pet billy goat who was turned away from the stadium in 1945 laid a curse on the team.

Ghostbuster touch

Mr DePorter has refused to reveal what exactly will happen to the ball.

Suggestions from Chicagoans include having Nasa put the ball into orbit, dropping it off the Sears Tower and having Chicago native Bill Murray, in Ghostbusters gear, obliterate it.

All Mr DePorter would reveal was that the remains of the ball would be kept as a memento.

"We're going to keep the remnants on display... as if to say, 'if you're going to mess with the Cubs, this is what'll happen to you'."

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