Steve Bartman reaching for the "foul ball"
“We all can learn from my experience to view sports as entertainment and prevent harsh scapegoating.”
The words of Steve Bartman. Who is he? Well in 2003, Bartman was watching the Chicago Cubs at their home, Wrigley Field. He reached for a ball that was coming his way, as millions have in the past and millions more will in the future.
Bartman reached for the ball and was adjudged to have interfered with Cubs outfielder Moises Alou. The play was replayed and what insued was a nightmare scenario. The Cubs loss the lead and the game.
The Cubs then lost that Series over seven games and Bartman was ostracised for his actions. There is a documentary on it called ‘30 for 30 - Catching Hell’ which is a must watch.
At the time the Cubs were chasing their first World Series since 1908. They were believed to have been cursed and so the Cubs' fans saw Bartman as the enemy. That motion to catch a ball ruined his life. He became a social pariah.
However, in 2016, the Cubs finally won it all. The curse was broken and calls came for Bartman to be forgiven.
This week, in the classiest of class acts, the owners of the Chicago Cubs (who had always supported Bartman) gave the long suffering fan his own World Series Ring.
The touching moment was not done in public, but in private. The Cubs and Bartman both hope that this will now be an end to the ‘saga’ which saw a man's life ruined by the loss of perspective, that at the end of the day, it is only Sport.