Come on out Steve Bartman, Chicago forgives you


All fingers point to Bartman

Steve Bartman, the most hated man in Chicago since 2003, has finally been forgiven.

It all started October 14, 2003, as the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Marlins were facing off in game six of the NLCS. The Cubs were ahead in the series three games to two. With Chicago leading 3-0 in the top of the eighth inning, only five outs away from reaching their first World Series since 1945, a foul ball drifting towards the stands in left field was hit by Marlins second baseman, Luis Castillo. Little did the Cubs know this ordinary foul ball would change baseball in Chicago for many years.

The Cubs left fielder, Moisés Alou, began to coast towards the stands out in left field. As he approached the wall he leaped to make the catch but was denied by Bartman. If the catch would have been made it would have resulted in the second out of the inning, but instead the Cubs surrendered eight runs and lost the game 8-3.

Bartman was immediately escorted out of the stadium by security guards after being doused in beer and food due to the outrage of the fans in Wrigley. The Marlins went on to win game seven and eventually win the World Series that year.

He was eventually placed under police protection after his name and address where made public. As many as six police cars gathered outside his home to protect Bartman and his family following the incident. The Illinois governor suggested that Steve Bartman join the witness protection program for his own safety.

Bartman reaches out to snag foul ball from Alou
Bartman reaches out to snag foul ball from Alou

After all was over Bartman decided to give a statement of what was going through his head. The die-hard Cubs fan claimed that he was “truly sorry” and that he had his eyes glued on the approaching ball and was so caught up in the moment that he did not even see Alou attempting to make the play. As media was heating up, Bartman refused all interviews. He tried to maintain a low profile but eventually the situation forced him and his family to change their phone numbers and enter the witness protection program.

Bartman was offered many different things to finally come out of hiding but he did not crack. In July 2008, Bartman was offered 25,000 dollars to autograph a picture of himself at National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Illinois, but he refused. He declined to appear as a VIP at Wrigley Field. In 2011, eight years after the incident, he declined to appear in the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, Catching Hell and he declined a six-figure offer to appear in a Super Bowl commercial.

Steve Bartman denies Alou from catching foul ball
Steve Bartman denies Alou from catching foul ball

In the documentary, Moisés Alou says he was convinced 100% that he had that ball in his glove. Alou was feeding the fire to the already heated Bartman situation.

Was it a wrong place at the wrong time deal? Or was it the curse that haunted the city of Chicago for decades? Either way it’s all over now. The Cubs, finally broke the curse, beating the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the World Series 8-7.

It’s time for Steve Bartman to come out and be a part of this great celebration in Chicago. He’s done his time and paid the price. The city of Chicago finally forgives you.