After 13 years as a scapegoat, a weight was lifted off Steve Bartman's shoulders when the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday, and according to a spokesperson, the victory brought happiness to the Windy City's former public enemy No. 1.
Per Josh Peter of USA Today, spokesman Frank Murtha said the following Thursday regarding Bartman's reaction to the Cubbies ending their 108-year title drought: "He was just overjoyed that the Cubs won, as all the Cubs fans are."
Bartman infamously got his hands on a foul ball in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series between the Cubs and the then-Florida Marlins, which prevented outfielder Moises Alou from making the catch.
The Marlins overcame a 3-0 deficit in that contest and a 3-2 deficit in the series to eliminate the Cubs, thus prolonging their title wait.
Many blamed Bartman for the loss despite several other factors coming into play, and it led to Bartman completely removing himself from the public eye.
Now that the Cubs are champions again, however, many have called for Bartman to have some involvement in Friday's championship parade, including ESPN's Rece Davis:
Rece Davis @ESPN_ReceDavis
I want to see Bartman at the parade if not in clubhouse with champagne.2016-11-3 04:49:52
Despite the groundswell, Murtha said Bartman has no interest in overshadowing what the Cubs accomplished: "We don't intend to crash the parade. The one thing that Steve and I did talk about was if the Cubs were to win, he did not want to be a distraction to the accomplishments of the players and the organization."
Regardless of if or when Bartman decides to emerge publicly, it is abundantly clear that Cubs fans are ready to embrace him.
Time and winning can heal plenty, and although the backlash against Bartman was always unfair, perhaps no one individual benefited more or felt more relief when first baseman Anthony Rizzo secured the ball in his glove for the final out of the 2016 World Series.
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