The Chicago Cubs just made an epic gesture to Steve Bartman. He’s the fan who was unfairly blamed for the Cubs’ playoff collapse 14 years ago, when he reached for a foul ball, preventing Cubs outfielder Moisés Alou from catching it.
The team gave Steve an official 2016 World Series ring . . . with HIS name ‘Bartman’ engraved on it.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said he hoped it would, quote, “provide closure on an unfortunate chapter of the story that has perpetuated throughout our quest to win a long-awaited World Series.”
He acknowledged that it could not fix everything that happened to Steve, but he wanted it to be known that he’s, quote, “fully embraced” by the Cubs.
Steve had immediately disappeared from public life, probably because he was getting death threats and other harassment . . . he never gave interviews or made any attempt to acknowledge or cash-in on his notoriety.
He repeatedly declined the team’s attempts to make amends . . . turning down tickets, appearances, and other recognitions. He even turned down a Cubs team invite to be a part of their World Series celebration.
But Steve IS accepting the ring, and surprisingly he even released a public statement. He said, quote, “Although I do not consider myself worthy of such an honor, I am deeply moved and sincerely grateful to receive [the] ring . . .
“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.”
Steve has supposedly remained a diehard Cubs fan throughout the years . . . despite other fans considering him a curse.
It’s unclear whether or not he’s been back to Wrigley for a game . . . but he was there yesterday to meet with Ricketts and team officials, and pick up his ring.