It only took the Chicago Cubs and their fans 14 years to settle the score with Steve Bartman.
The unassuming Cubs fan became a Chicago villain during the 2003 playoffs when he interfered with Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. Many blame Bartman for the Cubs’ subsequent collapse in that series and continued title drought.
That 108-year drought ended last October, though, and the organization is mending fences — by giving Bartman his very own 2016 World Series ring.
That’s no small ring, either: According to Josh Evans, founder of the auction site Lelands.com, Bartman’s new bling is estimated to be worth $100,000.
According to WGN News in Chicago, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts reached out to Bartman to offer the olive branch of sorts.
“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,” Ricketts told WGN News in a statement. “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.”
Bartman, who has remained intensely private since the incident, broke his silence with a lengthy, emotional statement.
“Although I do not consider myself worthy of such an honor, I am deeply moved and sincerely grateful to receive an official Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Championship ring,” part of his statement read. “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.”
Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports Images
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