For those who don’t know, the Cubs were very close to making the World Series back in 2003, but there was this foul ball, and …
You know what, never mind. You definitely know the story.
But since that fateful evening back in the fall of 2003, Steve Bartman’s life has never been the same. Unfortunately, some Cubs fans couldn’t quite see past how unbelievably-not-his-fault the entire play (let alone the rest of the game and series) was, and he’s had to endure an almost unimaginable stream of B.S. in the years since.
With that said, I’m sure he was more relieved than most to watch the Cubs win their first World Series in over 100 years last November, but relief is not the only thing he’ll get out of it.
Check it out, as originally reported by WGN:
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) July 31, 2017
Good on the Cubs – who have been very liberal with their ring gifting this time around – for going above and beyond for a die-hard fan who was unfairly ridiculed and despised for many years.
In so many ways, this was the right thing to do, and because of that, I’m not even surprised to see that they did it.
I hope it helps close a chapter of his life – and Cubs fans’ lives – for good.
The Cubs released the following statement:
“On behalf of the entire Chicago Cubs organization, we are honored to present a 2016 World Series Championship Ring to Mr. Steve Bartman. 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.”
For his part, Bartman released the following statement:
“Although I do not consider myself worthy of such an honor, I am deeply moved and sincerely grateful to receive an
official Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Championship ring. I am fully aware of the historical significance and
appreciate the symbolism the ring represents on multiple levels. My family and I will cherish it for generations.
Most meaningful is the genuine outreach from the Ricketts family, on behalf of the Cubs organization and fans,
signifying to me that I am welcomed back into the Cubs family and have their support going forward. I am relieved
and hopeful that the saga of the 2003 foul ball incident surrounding my family and me is finally over.
I humbly receive the ring not only as a symbol of one of the most historic achievements in sports, but as an
important reminder for how we should treat each other in today’s society. My hope is that we all can learn from my
experience to view sports as entertainment and prevent harsh scapegoating, and to challenge the media and
opportunistic profiteers to conduct business ethically by respecting personal privacy rights and not exploit any
individual to advance their own self-interest or economic gain.
Moreover, I am hopeful this ring gesture will be the start of an important healing and reconciliation process for all
involved. To that end, I request the media please respect my privacy, and the privacy of my family. I will not
participate in interviews or further public statements at this time.
Words alone cannot express my heartfelt thanks to the Ricketts family, Crane Kenney, Theo Epstein, and the entire
Cubs organization for this extraordinary gift, and for providing the City of Chicago and Cubs fans everywhere an
unforgettable World Championship in 2016. I am happy to be reunited with the Cubs family and positively moving
forward with my life.”
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.