Steve Bartman given World Series ring by Chicago Cubs
CHICAGO (CBS2/FOX28) —
Steve Bartman, the infamous scapegoat of the Chicago Cubs failed 2003 World Series run, is receiving his own championship ring from the organization after the team won it's first Championship since 1908.
Bartman is remembered as the fan that tipped a ball away from left fielder from Moines Alou when the Cubs were just five outs away from making to the World Series. The Cubs went on to lose game 6 and game 7 of the NLCS to the Florida Marlins. Bartman went into hiding after the incident, and hasn't made a public appearance since.
Now that the Cubs have ended their 108-year championship drought, they are reaching out to him to reconcile.
WGN reports that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and the Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein presented Bartman with a World Series Championship Ring and gave him a tour of Wrigley Field, which has gone under extensive renovations since Bartman last visited in 2003.
Steve Bartman issued the following statement to WGN:
“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.
I humbly receive the ring not only as a symbol of one of the most historic achievements in sports, but as an important reminder for how we should treat each other in today’s society. My hope is that we all can learn from my experience to view sports as entertainment and prevent harsh scapegoating, and to challenge the media and opportunistic profiteers to conduct business ethically by respecting personal privacy rights and not exploit any individual to advance their own self-interest or economic gain.
Moreover, I am hopeful this ring gesture will be the start of an important healing and reconciliation process for all involved. To that end, I request the media please respect my privacy, and the privacy of my family. I will not participate in interviews or further public statements at this time.
Words alone cannot express my heartfelt thanks to the Ricketts family, Crane Kenney, Theo Epstein, and the entire Cubs organization for this extraordinary gift, and for providing the City of Chicago and Cubs fans everywhere an unforgettable World Championship in 2016. I am happy to be reunited with the Cubs family and positively moving forward with my life."