When the Chicago Cubs play their first World Series game at Wrigley Field in more than 70 years, don’t expect to see Steve Bartman anywhere in the vicinity.
Bartman, a Cubs fan who became the infamous scapegoat for the 2003 team that blew a late lead in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, still roots for the North Siders, but he won’t make any sort of surprise return to Wrigley during the 2016 World Series, according to his representatives.
It was Bartman, of course, who interfered with play during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, reaching over the left field fence and appearing to take away a would-be out from then-Cubs outfielder Moises Alou. That helped extend the inning for the then-Florida Marlins, who staged a furious comeback to claim Game 6 before winning Game 7 and advancing to the World Series.
With Chicago reaching its first World Series since 1945, some wondered whether the Cubs would invite Bartman back to Wrigley as a way of showing some sort of forgiveness. Some Cubs fans made life hell for Bartman after his gaffe, essentially sending him into hiding.
?Steve is cheering for the Cubs and continues to be a Cubs fan. He just wants everybody, moving forward, to respect his privacy and let his life continue to unfold as the grand plan has it,” Frank Murtha, Bartman’s unofficial spokesman, told USA TODAY. “Unimpeded by things that … have been blown out of proportion.
“I think that?s the one message. It?s not necessarily a new one.”
That certainly makes sense. Bartman unfairly became the scapegoat for a team that ultimately choked, leading to an overreaction from a boisterous group of Cubs fans. If all he asks for is peace, it’s tough to argue with that.
Thumbnail photo via Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports Images