Start here. Now, imagine that the Steve Bartman “interference” that created his legend also created the scenario by which this new gentleman remembers where he’s sitting and pulls his arms back a bit. Heyward makes the catch, and the Cubs are still alive in the World Series.
If Bartman can be to blame for Cubs failures past, the spectre of Bartman can then be ascribed the win in this modern series.
Now, thinking back on the whole Bartman fiasco of old, a number of things strike me:
- Steve Bartman wasn’t the only one reaching to grab that ball. In fact, one of the folks who very nearly got it was a member of the Looney family. His family owns the Abbey Pub in Chicago and more recently, Otto’s in DeKalb. The former business has been in disarray for years, and the latter never had a chance under their ownership. In fact, the most likely scenario for Otto’s currently (formerly one of the coolest music venues in Northern Illinois) is condemnation. It would have been more poetically fitting to be discussing the Looney curse.
- What the hell was Bartman supposed to do? He was probably watching the ball as it ascended from the bat up into the sky, and probably realized it was on a very likely trajectory toward him. In fact, if nobody was there, it would have landed on his seat. How in the world could he know that Moises Alou was tracking the ball, or capable or a vertical leap high enough to reach a glove over the wall, all while trying not to get beaned? Catching that ball was essentially self defense.
- From all accounts, Steve Bartman is an ideal Cubs fan and a really good guy. He’s been courted by lots of marketing folks and probably could have retired already on the money his legend could have generated. That said, he apparently hasn’t taken a dime. Rare, this day and age.
On my ride in to work this morning, I imagined how Steve Bartman might feel right now, with the Cubs already surpassing the series he was blamed for years ago. For my money, he’s already in the clear, but there’s a chance his “interference” all those years ago created the pivot point for the Cubs going all the way. Or maybe it was just the wind.