You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

After ten years, infamous Cubs fan still avoiding public eye


If you’re a Cubs fan you probably remember it all too well. Your team, just five outs away from its first World Series appearance in 58 years, and a looping pop-foul to left field.

“That’s awfully close to fan interference right there. If Alou has to reach into the stands it’s fair game for the fans to catch the ball.” (Via ESPN / "Catching Hell")

That was Steve Bartman, a man who now lives in infamy amongst Cubs fans, accidentally knocking the ball away from then Cubs left-fielder Moises Alou. (Via Sports Illustrated)

Alou was attempting to make the catch in game six of the 2003 National League Championship Series — a game their opponents, the Florida Marlins, would rally to win — before winning game seven, and eventually the World Series. (Via Sporting News)

Following the play Bartman was a pariah amongst Cubs fans — pelted with beer, booed by fans, and blamed for the loss. He was even taken by security for the rest of the game, before being snuck out of Wrigley in disguise. (Via YouTube / Ramiro Munoz)

That before receiving hate mail and death threats from angry Cubs fans. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Cubfanwooss)

But now, exactly a decade later, the headphones and turtleneck sporting fan may as well still be in disguise — as he’s avoided any public appearance since the fateful play. (Via Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Bartman, 36, has reportedly turned down offers of big paydays for interviews with the likes of Dr. Phil and the Today Show, as as well any number of pop culture appearances. (Via Complex)

But he hasn’t been able to escape the public eye so easily. He’s still been the butt of many Bartman jokes and parodies.

Like a Steve Bartman drive-thru prank. (Via YouTube / FizzyPops3434)

And a song, again pinning the blame on Bartman for the Cubs now historic postseason futility.

“Go blame it on Steve Bartman. The Cubs won’t play this fall.” (Via YouTube / The Beachwood Reporter)

So what has Bartman been up to? He’s reportedly still living in Chicago, working at a financial consulting firm, and, yes, still a Cubs fan — despite the lingering memory of the play that altered his life forever.

As far as anyone knows he’s never even returned to Wrigley since the game, despite a reported explicit invitation from former Cubs GM Jim Hendry. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Giants27)

The ball hasn’t exactly had an easy ride since the game either. It was purchased for more than $113,000 before being publicly blown up at late-Cubs announcer Harry Caray’s Restaurant in 2004. It was then reportedly served in spaghetti. (Via Chicago Sun-Times)

Keith Olbermann: “We take you now to Harry Caray’s restaurant.” (Via MSNBC)

Despite the cultural phenomenon the play became though, many Cubs fans and players hold no ill will towards Bartman.

Mark Prior, the pitcher who was on the mound at the time, told the San Diego Union-Tribune he blames himself, adding: “Even after all that, we still had a chance to get them in that game. And we still had Game 7.”

 And pointing to increased ticket sales in the following season, and division wins in 2007 and 2008, ESPN Chicago writer Jon Greenberg notes: “While some present the ending of the 2003 season as proof that the Cubs are baseball's oldest living punchline, it clearly shook up the franchise for the better.”

Still the issue of how to bring the exiled fan back into the fold remains. Some have proposed letting him throw out a first pitch, or letting him induct a Cubs player into the Hall of Fame.

But longtime Cubs broadcaster Pat Hughes thinks it might actually take some work from the Cubs on the field to make things right. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Garret Craig)

Quoted by The New York Times, he said: “I think welcoming Steve would be more appropriate after we win. You almost have to wait until you enjoy the pinnacle and then it’s like, let’s forgive this poor guy.”

By pinnacle we’re assuming he means a World Series win — and if so, it may be a while. The Cubs have gone 105 years without a championship and this year finished 31 games back in the National League Central. 

- See more at Newsy.com


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft starts historic dive between Saturn and its rings 
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft starts historic dive between Saturn and its rings 

After nearly 20 years in space and 13 years in orbit around Saturn, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft begins its grand finale, going where no craft has gone before. The final mission, according to NASA, involves a “daring” series of dives (22 in total) between Saturn and its icy rings, and ends with Cassini plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere...
Brother shoots, kills 13-year-old sister while playing with gun, police say
Brother shoots, kills 13-year-old sister while playing with gun, police say

Police arrested a 17-year-old on Tuesday night after authorities said he shot and killed his 13-year-old sister in an apparently accidental shooting. Authorities responded to the family’s home in Florida City, Florida, around 6 p.m. after 17-year-old Martaevious Santiago called 911, Miami-Dade police said. Medics with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue found...
Giant 3-foot rabbit found dead on United Airlines flight
Giant 3-foot rabbit found dead on United Airlines flight

While still dealing with legal action and negative public relations after a man was forcibly dragged from a flight, United Airlines is now investigating an incident in which a giant rabbit was found dead aboard one of the airline’s international flights.   >> Read more trending news  According to the ...
Wright-Patterson gate crasher sentenced
Wright-Patterson gate crasher sentenced

A federal judge has sentenced a man who pleaded guilty to trespassing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base which caused a major disruption that led to an employee evacuation in two buildings and blocked roads to two years probation. Edward J. Novak, 32, of Beavercreek, also will have to comply with mental health counseling and alcohol and chemical substance...
Family recreates Blockbuster for autistic son heartbroken over store’s closure
Family recreates Blockbuster for autistic son heartbroken over store’s closure

A Texas family went the extra mile for their son with autism, recreating his favorite Blockbuster store at their home after the store shut its doors. The Zuniga family’s gesture for their 20-year-old son, Hector Andres Zuniga, went viral this week after his brother, Javier Zuniga, posted photos of the surprise for his older brother on Twitter...
More Stories