Steve Bartman, the man known as the scapegoat for the Chicago Cubs 2003 NLCS meltdown, and the Cubs seem to have officially put things behind them. Following the Cubs dramatic championship in 2016, the Ricketts family (the owner of the Cubs) have given Bartman an official 2016 World Series Champion ring (pictured above) as a gesture of good faith and a motion to officially put that past behind them, where it belongs.
Bartman was treated horribly by both fans and members of the organization after the infamous incident in game 6 of the NLCS against the Marlins, now known as the Bartman game. The Cubs were 4 outs away from their first trip to the World Series in nearly 60 years until a foul ball drifted into the stands and the incident occurred between Bartman and Cubs left fielder Moises Alou. I don’t think I need to tell you what happened after that.
Bartman was ushered out of the stadium for his own safety, and, to my knowledge, hasn’t returned since. It was the biggest example of overreaction you will ever see. Moises wouldn’t have even caught the ball. It also wasn’t Bartman’s fault that the team blew a 3-0 lead with 2 outs in the 8th. Or that the lost game 7. But he was treated like he committed murder right there in the stands.
After nearly 14 years, it appears this is finally going to be put to bed for good. The Ricketts’ invited him to the playoffs and World Series last year, but he declined the invitation, and I certainly don’t blame him. But now that the team has finally won, this is all in the past. It is great to see the organization gift this ring to Steve as a small token, an apology, for all he has endured over the last 14 years.
There is certainly something to be learned here, and that lesson is, that despite all the effort, energy, and passion both the fans and players have, this is still just a game. This man’s life was ruined for 14 years over a game, but this is a step in the right direction. Let’s hope the Cubs can get him to Wrigley to throw out a first pitch in the near future.
Also, it was Alex Gonzalez’s fault.