Steve Bartman's Disastrous Interference with a Foul Ball Took Place 10 Years Ago
It's hard to believe, but it has been 10 years since Steve Bartman interfered with Moises Alou to cement his place in baseball history.
On Oct. 14, 2003, Chicago Cubs ace Mark Prior was cruising along in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Florida Marlins. The Cubs were five outs from their first World Series since 1945. Everything looked good…and then it happened.
Bartman, who was 26 at the time, was escorted from his seat and hidden until the game was over. He had to be dressed in a disguise in order to get back home.
It was just one of the many tough moments in Dusty Baker's managerial career. The Cubs would go on to blow the lead in Game 6 and another one in Game 7 to miss out on a trip to the World Series. Chicago wouldn't make the playoffs again until 2007 and haven't won a playoff game since.
Prior was never again the dominant pitcher that he was at the time and continues to try to work his way back onto a 25-man roster.
Alou reflected back on the incident after having a similar play earlier this year:
There were certainly other factors that led to the Cubs' collapse, mainly an error on a potential inning-ending double-play ball by shortstop Alex Gonzalez.
For what it's worth, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com shows that Cubs players have taken blame for the collapse rather than blaming the fan.
Bartman's play has lived on in Cubs history. ESPN Films' 30 for 30 did a documentary called Catching Hell back in 2011 on the infamous catch.
The play changed Bartman's life. He has yet to do an interview since that unforgettable night.
Ben Strauss of The New York Times was unable to get Bartman to comment on the matter, but he was able to talk to Frank Murtha, who is Bartman's spokesman. Murtha said that Bartman remains a Cubs fan despite what has happened since he interfered with the foul ball.
According to Strauss, Bartman still lives in Chicago and works for a financial services consulting firm.
The ball was destroyed back in 2004.
It may be shocking that he still lives in the city, but many have begun to show sympathy for him. Bartman did what many fans, including a few around him, would do in that situation. Unfortunately for him, he has received the majority of the blame for the team's loss.
Now the 36-year-old has to relive the moment on the 10th anniversary. He may continue to be blamed until the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908.
Bartman has a place in baseball history, even if that wasn't his intention. Now we can look back at the play a decade later and see what has happened to the team since the infamous play.
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