Trying to finally put the “Bartman play” to rest, the Chicago Cubs have awarded the beleaguered fan an official World Series ring.
Steve Bartman, wearing glasses, headphones and a Cubs hat, reached out and deflected a foul ball along the left-field wall during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Left-fielder Moises Alou jumped up and down in protest, thinking he could have caught the ball. Chicago went on to squander a lead in that game as the Marlins tied the series, and the Cubs lost Game 7 to continue the franchise’s epic World Series drought.
The Cubs buried that history last season, beating the Cleveland Indians for their first title in 108 years. Bartman was presented his ring in owner Tom Ricketts’ office at Wrigley Field on Monday morning. The Cubs gave out three tiers of rings to everyone from players to security guards. Bartman did not receive the same ring given to players, but instead received the ring given to many staff members, ESPN has learned.
“On behalf of the entire Chicago Cubs organization, we are honored to present a 2016 World Series Championship Ring to Mr. Steve Bartman,” Ricketts and the Cubs said in a statement. “We 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.”
Bartman, who has gone underground since that fateful day, issued a lengthy statement thanking the club.
“Although I do not consider myself worthy of such an honor, I am deeply moved and sincerely grateful to receive an official Chicago Cubs…