CHICAGO — Steve Bartman is getting a World Series championship ring from the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs announced Monday they were giving a ring to the fan remembered for deflecting a foul ball that might have landed in left fielder Moises Alou’s glove with Chicago five outs from the World Series in 2003.
Bartman was harassed after the incident and has avoided the spotlight since then. Chicago beat Cleveland last fall for its first championship since 1908.
The Cubs say they “hope this provides closure on an unfortunate chapter” and Bartman “continues to be fully embraced by this organization.”
Bartman released a statement saying he is “deeply moved and sincerely grateful.” He praised team owners the Ricketts family and management, and called the ring a reminder of “how we should treat each other in today’s society.”
“My hope is that we all can learn from my experience to view sports as entertainment and prevent harsh scapegoating, and to challenge the media and opportunistic profiteers to conduct business ethically by respecting personal privacy rights and not exploit any individual to advance their own self-interest or economic gain,” he said. “Moreover, I am hopeful this ring gesture will be the start of an important healing and reconciliation process for all involved.”
The Cubs said they “hope this provides closure on an unfortunate chapter.”
“While no gesture can fully lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade, we felt it was important Steve knows he has been and continues to be fully embraced by this organization,” he said. “After all he has sacrificed, we are proud to recognize Steve Bartman with this gift today.”