Fan Receives Cubs World Series Ring 14 Years After Infamous Incident
Steve Bartman accidentally deflected a ball during the 2003 National League Championship series.
Steve Bartman is getting a ring. Fourteen years after accidentally deflecting a ball during the Chicago Cubs run in the 2003 National League Championship Series, team owner Tom Ricketts gave Bartman a 2016 championship ring as a gift.
Bartman is a life-long Cubs fan. He was thrust into the limelight and much-reviled after the 2003 incident, when, at 26-years-old, he reached up for and tipped a foul ball hit by Florida Marlins player Luis Castillo as Cubs player Moisés Alou attempted to catch it. The team was currently winning 3-0 in the eighth inning of game six in the series. The Cubs ended up losing that game and eventually the championship — the Marlins ended up winning the World Series that year.
His identity was published, and Bartman was essentially sent into hiding. People reports that he was “plagued by endless phone calls.” He was later the subject of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary called “Catching Hell.”
In 2016, the Cubs finally broke their 108-year long dry spell, and won the World Series.
Ricketts told WGN-TV that the entire Chicago Cubs organization was honored to present a ring to 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,” Ricketts said, according to People.
Bartman told WGN-TV in a statement, “I am deeply moved and sincerely grateful to receive an official Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Championship ring.”
He said he is relieved and hopeful that the foul ball incident is over for himself and his family.
“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.”
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