Steve Bartman
Steve Bartman.
Morry
Gash/AP


Steve Bartman will receive an official Chicago Cubs 2016 World
Series Championship ring as a gift from the Chicago and their
owners, the Ricketts family, WGN is reporting.

Bartman became a pariah of the Cubs and their fan base after his
interference with a foul ball during the 2003 playoffs. The
Cubs went on to blow the lead in that game and a chance at going
to the World Series.

After the incident, Bartman became the face of the Cubs’
seemingly never-ending failures. He received death threats,
became a punchline to jokes, and was forced into seclusion.

Now, with their long sought after World Series win behind them,
the Rickett family felt it was time to reach out, and
gave Bartman a Championship ring in an effort to both close
a chapter and let Bartman know that the organization is thankful
to have him as a fan.

 

It’s quite a gift, with estimates placing its value at around
$70,000

Along with the announcement of the gift, the Cubs gave WGN an
official statement, that notably acknowledges the struggle that
Bartman has unfairly endured over the past 14 years:

“On behalf of the entire Chicago Cubs organization, we are
honored to present a 2016 World Series Championship Ring to Mr.
Steve Bartman. 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. 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 organization. After all he has sacrificed,
we are proud to recognize Steve Bartman with this gift
today.”

Bartman would also give a statement of his own,
expressing his gratitude for the gesture:

“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.”

Bartman would go on further to express his hope that his
story can serve as a lesson that we learn from in order to avoid
such harmful scapegoating in the future, as well as add that
neither he nor his family would be conducting any further
interviews at the moment.

“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.”

 

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