The movement to have disgraced Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman throw out the first pitch at a World Series game this year has been picking up steam ever since the North Siders clinched their first berth in the Fall Classic in 71 years on Saturday night.
Yahoo’s Jeff Passan says it’s all about finally turning the page on one of the darkest moments of the Cubs’ star-crossed history, especially because Bartman has actively avoided the spotlight except for the apologetic statement he issued after the events of Oct. 14, 2003, when he got in the way of Moises Alou during Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.
“Chicago owes Steve Bartman an apology,” Passan writes. “And nothing would be quite as fitting as watching him throw the first pitch in the World Series he always hoped he’d get to see.” Chicago Tribune
Listen as an outsider looking in, I don’t know many people in the sports word that have gotten a more unfair shake than Bartman. The list goes on and on for other things to blame that infamous 8 run inning on than a die hard fan going for a foul ball. Let’s also not forget to mention that ball was no can of corn. Old “piss on my hands” Moises Alou makes that play on his best day maybeee half the time. So yeah, do I think Cubs fan owe Bartman some type of solace? (That was rhetorical, of course they do) But…. It shouldn’t be this year.
I get the whole “we made it TO the World Series” but does that really matter in the eyes of Cubs fans if they don’t end up pulling a move out of the Cleveland playbook (yup, going there) and finishing off the 3-1 comeback? The Cubs have a decades-old curse on them, one rooted in black cats and goats, in my experience, which I have exactly none of, you don’t mess with animal based curses, ask anyone in a witch movie ever, not good stuff folks.
Ultimately I’m happy Bartman and the Cubs decided for this not to happen. Neither of them needed the chance for round two of that shit storm. Should the Cubs come back and win this series then I can’t think of a better scene than Bartman himself throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley to start off 2017. There should only be one stipulation, only if Bartman wants to. He should have the right to just walk away from it all and never be seen again, something he’s worked so hard to do over the past 13 plus years. After all, what does he owe to the hundreds of thousands of Cubs fans who wanted him dead…literally? Why should Bartman give them that closure?
As great of an ending/marketing opportunity/book deal/documentary/movie script that would be, the choice is Bartman’s and I don’t know if he wants to oil up that old machine again, despite how great it has the potential to be.
One thing I do know, is that if or when the Cubs finally win that World Series, Bartman should never have to buy a beer in Chicago again.
P.S. Kerry Wood, star pitcher on that 2003 Cubs squad weighed in…