The Chicago Cubs won the World Series last season to break a more than century-long drought and bring a championship back to the north side. The years without a championship was hard for Cubs fans as they suffered through devastating losses and were even cursed by an animal. Of all of the tough times over a century, the low point for Cubs fans came in the 2003 NLCS.
The Cubs were playing the Florida Marlins, and looked like they were on their way to winning game six and the series. In the late innings, a Marlins player sent a foul ball down the left field line. What happened next will live on in baseball history.
The fan who reached for the ball was Steve Bartman, and his life was forever changed after this moment. Instead of getting an out on this play, the inning continued, and snowballed into a big inning for the Marlins. The Cubs ended up losing the game and eventually the series. Fans needed a scapegoat, and found one in Bartman. Despite the errors and poor play by the Cubs following the Bartman interference, the fan is the one who got blamed.
Since that time, Steve Bartman has remained hidden from private life. He received death threats and was held responsible for the misfortune of millions of fans. He was finally forgiven following the Cubs championship in 2016, and the Cubs are going even further to make amends. They have decided to give Bartman a World Series Ring.
Steve Bartman's World Series Cubs ring pic.twitter.com/HhCFS4hLnD
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 31, 2017
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 31, 2017
Bartman graciously accepted the ring, and had a very powerful message to send. He wants people to understand how poorly he was treated following this incident, and he hopes nobody else will ever have to endure the hatred that he felt. Whether you think this ring was deserved or not, we can all agree that Bartman did not deserve to be the scapegoat, and hopefully, he can find a way to move on with his life.