Whether you are a fan of the Cubs, or a fan of the Marlins, it is almost guaranteed that the date of October 14th, 2003 will stick in your mind, in either a positive way or not. If that date doesn’t ring a bell, or if you are just trying to block it out of your mind, that is the date of the now infamous “Steve Bartman incident” during game 6 of the NLCS where the Chicago Cubs were taking on the (then) Florida Marlins. The Cubs were up 3-0 with a 3-2 series advantage. During the 8th inning, a foul (yes, it WAS foul) ball was blasted to left. In a seemingly half-attempt of self-defense, Bartman robbed the Cubs left-fielder of a sure out, causing outrage, and the eventual collapse of the Cubs in that game, and the series. The fans immediately lost it, so much so that he was almost killed, literally, trying to leave the game… where he stayed until the end. Bartman had headphones on, listening to even the announcers tear him to pieces, as he sat with a stone-cold expression. He was never officially banned, but he never returned to Wrigley, and eventually had to move out of the state. The cubs never returned to the NLCS… until now, so why would the Cubs ever want him to come back? Well, the answer is really quite simple. Superstition.
Baseball is a game of rituals, and everyone knows that. Some players have light rituals, such as wearing certain socks in big games, chewing a certain type of gum, or things of that nature. However, some players, and even teams have rituals that go above and beyond. Take Wade Boggs for example, a third baseman for the Red Sox. Before every game he would take exactly 150 ground balls and do sprints at exactly 7:17pm for night games. So if Bartman is such a bad omen for the team apparently, why on Earth would they want him to come to the game? Well, to BREAK the curse, obviously.
Just like any curse, it can be broken, just ask the Red Sox. Therefore, this one can be too. The cubs have been to the NLCS several times, and Even the World Series, the last time was in 1945. However, they haven’t actually won the World Series since 1908… the Three Stooges hadn’t even made a short by that year, and the president was Teddy Roosevelt. When the incident first happened back in 2003, he was almost killed trying to leave the game, and to this day, he still receives death threats from crazy fans, but believe it or not, the majority of the hardcore Cubs fans want him to come back, and sit in the same exact seat he had when he caught the foul ball. Which, by the way, WAS a foul ball, and was right to him, anyone would’ve done the same exact thing. If you don’t believe the fans feel this way, a gofundme was created and actually raised over $5,000 for Bartman to head to Pittsburgh and attend the wild card game, to which he politely declined due to safety concerns, and donated the money to charity.
Back to the future predicted that the Cubs would win the World Series in 2015, so wouldn’t it be something if the face of the Cubs drought actually attended a few games? Apparently they might need it, as they are already falling behind in the NLCS. While the Cubs organization has remained officially silent on the whole ordeal, it is pretty obvious that Cubs fans are desperate to break the curse, and Bartman might just be that key… who knows?
Will he actually show up to a game? It’s unlikely, he hasn’t even publicly made a statement since 2003 and again last month when he declined the gofundme offer. However, this doesn’t stop people from dressing up like him. Baseball is weird, and curses sometimes actually come true, so will the Cubs finally break theirs? We might just have to find without Bartman.