Steve Bartman to Receive 2016 Cubs World Series Ring
Closure. That is the word best used to describe the latest chapter in the life of Steve Bartman. After nearly 14 years of torture following his infamous involvement with Chicago Cubs outfielder Moises Alou and the 2003 NLCS, the team wants to make things right. WGN News reported this morning that the Cubs ownership will present a World Series ring to Bartman. The longtime Cubs fan, who has been hiding in obscurity since that infamous game, issued the following statement:
"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."
I hope that one day Bartman will feel comfortable to attend Cubs games at Wrigley Field and not have to avoid the public and media by hiding out the way he has since the fall of 2003. The World Series ring is a great gesture by team owner Tom Ricketts to start that process.