Steve Bartman: How a Likeable Guy Turned into the Most Hated Man in Chicago

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2011

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 14:  Fans interfere with outfielder Moises Alou #18 of the Chicago Cubs on a ball hit by Luis Castillo #1 of the Florida Marlins in the eighth inning during Game 6 of the National League Championship Series October 14, 2003 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Steve Bartman is actually a good guy.

No really, he has gotten the raw deal of the century.

ESPN’s Catching Hell documentary refreshed the minds of all sports fans about one of the most cringe-worthy moments in baseball history.

The core argument is simple: he wasn’t the only guy reaching for the ball.

Left fielder Moises Alou admitted that there were more than just a few hands impeding his glove. Yet it was Bartman that was in the absolute best (or should I say worst) position. Fans threw beer and food at him as the entire stadium turned their anger towards one man.

Isn’t everybody’s natural reaction to try and snag the ball? When it’s right there, you react, you don’t think. Bartman was simply reacting.

Cubs fans could care less.

Bartman was clearly a fan, judging by his Cubs hat and willingness to bring headphones in order to listen to the WGN radio broadcast. He coached a youth baseball team that was extremely quick to have his back when all of this went down.

Bottom line: Bartman was just as sad as everyone else when the Cubs blew a 3-0 lead to the Marlins. His intentions were never to harm his lovable losers.

Yet he needed a costume to get out of the downtown area alive as the atmosphere turned into more of a witch hunt then anything else.

Cubs’ manager Dusty Baker suggested Bartman might be a Marlins fan. Governor Rod Blagojevich was on camera saying he would never pardon the guy. The hate was that bad.

Even the  two friends he attended the game with decided to bail on him when all of the madness really began.

The media immediately turned all of their attention to the one guy and a villain was born.

In reality, Bartman was just the wrong guy at the wrong time and now he has to suffer for the rest of his life because of it.

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