Die-hard Cubs fan Steve Bartman will long live in sports infamy, let alone for just fans, for what happened on that fateful night on October 14, 2003, down the third base line in foul territory at Wrigley Field.
Nobody has reportedly seen or heard from Bartman since that night, and while he still supposedly was still living in Chicago and religiously watching Cubs games at home. He has yet to return to the scene of the crime since that night, again supposedly.
On Monday, however, the Cubs franchise and the Ricketts’ family offered Bartman to biggest form of forgiveness imaginable. They gifted him a 2016 World Series championship ring.
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 31, 2017
The Cubs offered a statement regarding the presentation of a ring to Bartman, saying that they hope it “provides closure on an unfortunate chapter of the story” that was the 108-year-long curse in between world championships.
Bartman also offered these thoughts. You can view his statement in its entirety here:
“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. 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.”
The incident is magnified infinity fold because of what immediately happened not only in that Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series against the Florida Marlins. Trailing 3-2 in the series and 3-0 in Game 6, the Marlins turned what could have been the second out of the inning, into an eight-run rally.
Florida stunned the Cubs and their faithful with an 8-3 win in Game 6. They followed that up with yet another comeback win in Game 7 at Wrigley, clinching the NL pennant and eventually the 2003 World Series title.
There were multiple players with Tigers connections that took place in that game.
- After Luis Castillo had his at-bat lengthened due to Bartman’s blunder and eventually drew a walk, Florida had runners on the corners. Ivan Rodriguez singled in the first of eight runs that inning.
- Miguel Cabrera hit a ground ball that was botched by Cubs infielder Alex Gonzalez (who played nine games with DET in 2014) and extended the inning.
- Kyle Farnsworth relieved starter Mark Prior, who twirled a gem through the first seven innings. Farnsworth could only record one out in relief and was charged with three earned runs on one hit, issuing two intentional walks.