Cubs fans arrive at Wrigley Field after 95-day trek with goat

  • Wrigley the goat finally lands at Wrigley Field.
Wrigley the goat finally lands at Wrigley Field. (Phil Velasquez, Tribune )
May 29, 2012|Tracy Swartz | RedEye

After 95 days and about 2,000 miles, a group of five friends and a goat have arrived safely at Wrigley Field.

Cubs fan Matt Gregory, 33, said he plans to present a $22,000 check for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, where Gregory's mom was treated for cancer before she died in 1999, at today's Cubs game against the San Diego Padres.

The fundraising effort began on Feb. 25 (Cubs legend Ron Santo's birthday) in Mesa, Ariz., where the Cubs hold Spring Training. Since then, Gregory and his friends have been walking 20 miles a day and pushing a cart that holds Wrigley, a Nigerian Dwarf goat that the friends purchased on Craigslist.

"It feels awesome," Gregory told RedEye after arriving at Wrigley Field just after 9 this morning. "We all gave each other high fives."

Gregory said the group traveled 88 of the the last 95 days. The friends took time off to watch the Cardinals-Cubs game in St. Louis earlier this month. Most of the time, the friends camped out on the side of the road after they were done walking for the day. Occasionally, they stayed in hotels or crashed on couches.

The weather wasn't always kind to the travelers. Gregory said the group encountered a dust storm in New Mexico that led to "zero visibility."

The Cubs, meanwhile, have fared much worse. Since the start of Gregory's sojourn, the team has won 16 regular-season games and lost 32 games—earning them last place in the NL Central division.

Gregory and friends hoped the trip would break the Curse of the Billy Goat, a legend that dates back to 1945, when the Cubs ejected the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern and his goat from a World Series game.

Now that the journey is over, Gregory said he plans to go to New York City, where his girlfriend lives. As for the goat Wrigley, Gregory said it plans to retire to a farm in Southwest Michigan.

Read RedEye's earlier story about the journey here.

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