Years after Steve Bartman was wrongly viewed as the scapegoat to the Cubs 2003 playoff collapse, the team is finally doing right by the fan.
The Cubs are going to give Bartman a 2016 World Series Championship ring as a gift from the Ricketts family and organization, WGN reports.
Bartman is the fan who infamously tipped a foul ball that outfielder Moises Alou was about to catch late in the game in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS.
The Cubs went on to lose the game and the series. Following the loss many fans took their frustrations out by pointing the finger at Bartman.
Now, more than 14 years after the foul ball incident, the Cubs are ready to make things right with 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,” the Cubs said in a statement to WGN.
Bartman told WGN he doesn’t “consider himself worthy” of a ring, but is thankful to the Cubs for the gesture.
The Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years last October after beating the Indians in Game 7.
(Gene J. Puskar/AP)
“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,” Bartman said in a statement.
The fan added that he will not be speaking with the media any further at this time and wants the privacy of his family respected. He wants the ring to serve as a reminder why people shouldn’t scapegoat and said he’s glad to be a part of the Cubs family again.
“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,” Bartman said. “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.”
Source: Ny Daily News