Call it historic, manufactured catharsis or a shrewd PR move.
Whatever you name the Chicago Cubs’ decision to give Steve Bartman a World Series ring, its symbolism brings closure to an ugly chapter in baseball’s annals.
Bartman is the fan who interfered with a foul ball during the eighth inning of Game 6 during the 2003 National League Championship Series against the Florida Marlins. From there, the Cubs blew a three-run lead in the game, went on to lose the series and a chance to face the New York Yankees for a shot at the title.
Many fans turned on Bartman, as he became the scapegoat for the Cubs’ failure that year. He received death threats, went into hiding, declined six-figure offers to make public appearances and was even the subject of an ESPN “30 for 30” documentary.
Time seemed to heal the wounds left from that incident, however. The notoriously media-shy Bartman even went back to Wrigley Field, attending games undetected by fellow fans.
Then, in 2016, the Cubs erased the team’s 108-year losing streak with a dramatic run to bring the World Series trophy back to Chicago’s North Side.