For more than 65 of the nearly 75 years of my life, I've been a big fan of the Chicago Cubs — but I almost gave up on them in 2003. That was the year that the Cubs' bid for a World Series berth was foiled when a fan at Wrigley Field named Steve Bartman supposedly interfered with […]
For more than 65 of the nearly 75 years of my life, I've been a big fan of the Chicago Cubs — but I almost gave up on them in 2003.
That was the year that the Cubs' bid for a World Series berth was foiled when a fan at Wrigley Field named Steve Bartman supposedly interfered with a foul fly down the left-field line in the sixth inning of a game in the National League Championship Series. The popular theory is that Cubs left-fielder Moises Alou would have caught the ball if Bartman hadn't got to it first.
More than a few of the other fans at the game subsequently menaced Bartman and blamed him for the ensuing collapse of the Cubs' pennant hopes.
Security personnel escorted Bartman from Wrigley for his own safety, after which he all but disappeared from the face of the Earth to avoid revenge at the hands of overwrought fans. It was an ugly scene, to put if mildly.
The boorish behavior of these moronic fans almost prompted me to surrender forever my support of the Cubs. I didn't want to be on the same side as people who would resort to such stupidity.
But time heals all wounds, as the old saying goes. And nobody, I dare say, was more appreciative of the Cubs' victory in last year's World Series.
Another chapter of this story was written today when the team announced that Steve Bartman will receive a 2016 World Series ring from the franchise.
A statement from the team explained:
'On behalf of the entire Chicago Cubs organization, we are honored to present a 2016 World Series championship ring to Mr. Steve Bartman. e hope this provides closure on an unfortunate chapter of the story that has perpetuated throughout our quest to win a long-awaited World Series. While no gesture can fully lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade, we felt it was important Steve knows he has been and continues to be fully embraced by this organization. After all he has sacrificed, we are proud to recognize Steve Bartman with this gift today.'
Another gesture the Cubs could make would be an effort to identify the fans who tried to physically attack Bartman on that fateful night and bar them from Wrigley Field for life.