No, not that Bartman. I mean Steve Bartman, the unfortunate diehard Chicago Cubs fan in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ten years ago his Cubbies were just five outs away from their first World Series appearance since 1945. A routine pop-up popped off the bat of Luis Castillo and floated perilously close to the stands down the third-base line. If caught, it was the second out of the inning and the Cubs were that much closer to exorcising the Curse of the Billy Goat. If not caught…
Well, it all cascaded from there. The Marlins unleashed a rally that eventually led to their second World Series title in six years, that led to misery for the Cubs and their fans who needed a scapegoat. They found their scapegoat and they sent him off into the beer-soaked desert with their sins and frustration.
Some have asked Bartman for forgiveness. Others still shudder, spit, and/or curse at his name. For me, he tragically represents anyone who loves and anyone who dreams. He suffered for being a loyal fan and for wanting to experience the fullest that his beloved Cubs had to offer. Yet throughout the adversity, he still has faith in the perennial underachievers from the North Side. He still has hope that maybe next year the Loveable Losers will turn it around. And as his spokesman put it, “He’s happy and healthy” and still loves the Cubbies.
Cover photo courtesy of flickr user delusionalcubsfan