Steve Bartman Receives Chicago Cubs World Series Ring 14 Years After Infamous Foul Ball Incident
Steve Bartman, the lifelong Chicago Cubs fan who famously interrupted a foul ball catch in 2003, will receive a 2016 World Series ring
Fourteen years after accidentally deflecting a ball during the Chicago Cubs run in the 2003 National League Championship series, Steve Bartman is getting a team World Series ring.
Bartman – a life-long Cubs fanwho catapulted into the limelight and much-reviled after the 2003 incident – was given the 2016 championship ring on Monday as a gift from team owner Tom Ricketts, according to local outlet WGN-TV.
“On behalf of the entire Chicago Cubs organization, we are honored to present a 2016 World Series Championship Ring to Mr. Steve Bartman,” the Cubs told the outlet in a statement. “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.”
In 2003, then-26-year-old Bartman reached up for and tipped a foul ball hit by Florida Marlins player Luis Castillo as Cubs player Moisés Alou attempted to catch it. At the time, the Cubs were leading 3-0 in the eighth inning of game six in the series. The team went on to lose the game, and the championship to the Marlins – who eventually took the World Series as well.
After his identity was published, Bartman essentially went into hiding, PEOPLE reported at the time, and was plagued by endless phone calls.
Years later, Bartman was the subject of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary called Catching Hell.
It wasn’t until 2016, however, that the Cubs finally broke the 108-year long dry spell, winning the World Series title.
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After receiving his ring, Bartman told WGN-TV in a statement, “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,” he continued. “My family and I will cherish it for generations.”
Bartman added, “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.”