There it is. The most overlooked occurrence in sports. Everyone knows Steve Bartman. Most people don't know what else happened after that incident. Why?
Because after Steve Bartman, everything else is overlooked.
I am not a Cubs fan. I do not know what would have happened had Bartman not interfered with the play. I do feel sorry for Cubs fans, who have had to put up with losing for over 100 years.
But I feel especially sorry for Bartman, who will probably think about that moment every day for the rest of his life and consider himself responsible for costing the Cubs the pennant in 2003.
Anway, there are plenty of things about this that are overlooked. They are, as follows...
Say Bartman doesn't interfere with the play. How do we know if Moises Alou even catches the ball. The simple answer? We don't! What if Alou had simply missed the ball?
Most casual fans assume that later in the at bat, a home run was hit and the Cubs lost the game. Or something like that. That isn't even remotely close to the case at all.
After the incident, Mark Prior, one of the best pitchers in the National League, walked Luis Castillo on a wild pitch, which allowed Juan Pierre, already on second base, to go to third.
With Prior still on the mound, he faced Ivan Rodriguez next. Up 0-2, Prior threw Pudge a hittable pitch that he laced for a base hit. It was hit so hard that Pierre probably wouldn't have even scored from second, and the inning would have been completely different. Instead, he scored from third after advancing on the wild pitch.
Next up was Miguel Cabrera. The Cubs had a 3-1 lead at that point. With Castillo and Rodriguez on base, Cabrera hit a tailor-made double play ball to short. Alex Gonzalez, who according to Wikipedia had the highest fielding percentage of any SS in the NL that year, muffed the double play ball.
He muffed the double play ball that would have gotten the Cubs out of the inning up two runs. The ground ball that was seconds away from getting the Cubs to the ninth inning turned into a reached-on-error in the scorebook.
At this point, the bases were loaded. But the Cubs were up 3-1 and Prior was on the mound. Derrek Lee was up next, and when Prior gave him a first-pitch fastball, he hit a shot into the gap, scoring two.
After all of this, the game was still tied.
Mike Lowell was on-deck, and Kyle Farnsworth, one of the best relievers in the National League, was brought into pitch to Lowell. He was intentionally walked, and Jeff Conine promptly delivered a sacrifice fly to give the Marlins the lead.
So after the Bartman incident, the Cubs gave up a walk, a wild pitch, an 0-2 hit, muffed a double play ball, threw Derrek Lee of all people a hittable first pitch, gave up a two-run double, and then walked Lowell to load the bases...AND THEY STILL WEREN'T LOSING THE GAME.
And game six of the 2003 NLCS is Steve Bartman's fault? Yeah, alright.
Even after that, people forget that the Cubs had a game seven to win the series. At home. With Kerry Wood, another excellent pitcher at that time, on the mound.
In game seven, Kerry Wood hit a home run, the Cubs rallied from three down in the first to tie the game 3-3 in the second inning, went up 5-3, and then preceded to blow the lead, the game, and the series.
The Chicago Cubs lost the 2003 NLCS. Not Steve Bartman.
How this continues to get overlooked is anyone's guess.