Cubs offer closure with World Series ring for Steve Bartman
And thus the Chicago Cub's jinx is truly buried.
The Cubs, who snapped 108 years of futility with a World Series victory last year, presented infamous fan Steve Bartman with a 2016 championship ring on Monday as a special gift from team ownership, the Ricketts family, and the Cubs organisation.
Bartman has remained out of the media spotlight since he was vilified by Cubs fans for tipping a foul ball that left fielder Moises Alou was trying to glove near the stands during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS that Chicago lost en route to blowing a 3-2 series lead to the Florida Marlins.
Fourteen years later, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts thought it was time to offer an olive branch.
“We hope this provides closure on an unfortunate chapter of the story that has perpetuated throughout our quest to win a long-awaited World Series," Ricketts said. "While no gesture can fully lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade, we felt it was important Steve knows he has been and continues to be fully embraced by this organisation."
Bartman, who has rebuffed all attempts since the incident to speak at length on the topic and the ensuing abuse he took from long-suffering Cubs fans, duly issued a statement of his own,it read:
“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 organisation 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."