Cubs Give Big Gift, and Loathed Fan Breaks 14-Year Silence

Steve Bartman says he'll 'cherish it for generations'
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2017 5:05 PM CDT
Cubs Make Peace With Steve Bartman, in a Big Way
The Chicago Cubs baseball team announced Monday, July 31, 2017, they were giving a World Series ring to Steve Bartman, the fan remembered for deflecting a foul ball that appeared destined to land in left fielder Moises Alou's glove with Chicago five outs from the World Series in 2003.   (Chicago Cubs via AP)

Some old grudges are being buried now that the Chicago Cubs have broken their World Series curse. The Chicago Tribune reports that the franchise gifted Steve Bartman a 2016 World Series ring 14 years after the fan was all but blamed for blowing the team’s 2003 shot at winning the NLCS. As diehard Cubs fans will tell it, Bartman’s interference from the stands blocked Moises Alou from catching a pivotal foul, and per ESPN, the left fielder’s reaction (jumping up and down in angry protest) further placed blame on the role of the "Bartman play" in the team’s eventual loss.

"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,” reads a statement from the Cubs, which also recognized the “public burden” Bartman faced following the snafu. Bartman broke his long silence from public life with his own heartfelt statement, saying he was “deeply moved and sincerely grateful” for the gift: “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." He asked for continued privacy, however, and said no further interviews or public statements are planned. (More Chicago Cubs stories.)

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