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.

live video

West Liberty-Salem officials discuss student’s first day back after shooting

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

Clark County Common Pleas Court cases
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases

COMMON PLEAS COURT NEW SUITS 17-CV-0030 - Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, v. Frances N. Gavin aka Frances E. Gavin, 1810 Wittenberg Blvd., E., et al., complaint in foreclosure for $45,432. 17-DS-0046 - David D. Watkins, 2850 Fox Hollow Road, and Mona L. Watkins, 2850 Fox Hollow Road, petition for dissolution of marriage. 17-DP-0047 - Ronny L. Closson...
The Limited parent company files for bankruptcy
The Limited parent company files for bankruptcy

The parent company of women’s clothing store The Limited has filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Court, and the store website has been taken offline. The petition was filed by Limited Stores LLC in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The company also entered into an asset purchase...
3 ways Dayton will be represented at the Oscars 
3 ways Dayton will be represented at the Oscars 

Dayton, you have some crazy-talented horses in the race for the Oscars.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for 2017 Oscars, and three films have local connections.  FILM: MOONLIGHT  LOCAL CONNECT: Hanna Beachler NOMINATED FOR: Several awards, including Best Picture Beachler, a Centerville...
Woman goes to hospital for back pain, learns she's pregnant with quadruplets
Woman goes to hospital for back pain, learns she's pregnant with quadruplets

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report. A Georgia woman and doctors at a Georgia hospital made history with the arrival of the hospital's first-ever set of quadruplets. >> Read more trending stories   Julie and Justin Davidson welcomed four daughters Saturday at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville. McKenna weighed 3...
Yellow Springs appoints interim chief
Yellow Springs appoints interim chief

YELLOW SPRINGS —  Brian Carlson has been selected to serve as interim chief for the village police department, according to village manager.  Carlson has served with the Yellow Springs Police Department since December 2010, when he was hired full-time. Two years later, Carlson was assigned as a detective to the ACE Task Force...
More Stories