There was a time when Steve Bartman was the most hated man in Chicago.
Chicagoans know the "incident" well: A tipped foul ball in the eight inning of game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, and who can forget Moisés Alou stomping around the field like a little child who was denied supper.
Ah, the memories.
But now, thanks to forgiveness of the world champion Chicago Cubs, that time is officially over.
In a move that was revealed via a statement to WGN, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts brought an "unfortunate chapter” in team history to an end by presenting the club’s most infamous fan with a 2016 World Series Championship ring. Ricketts proceeded to give Bartman a personal tour of the Friendly Confines.
Seeing Bartman hadn't been back to Wrigley since becoming Public Enemy No. 1 (a title which included death threats), there was much for the longtime Cubs fan to see.
"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,” the Cubs told WGN. “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 accepted the ring and then released a statement of his own, which is available here.
The olive branch is nice, but we’d still steer clear of the North Side until the Cubs win it all again.