Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Cubs fans don’t deserve Bartman’s return

mniederman
Oct 30, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs fans pose for a photo before game five of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs fans pose for a photo before game five of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Chicago Cubs will forever be associated with the “Bartman incident”. Fifteen years have passed and with it so has the fleeting memory of that night. But for Steve Bartman, the shadow that looms over him has been a living nightmare that no person should ever have to endure.

The World Series championship won by the 2016 Chicago Cubs marked the end of an impressive, yet mediocre era. I, like millions of others around the world believe we witnessed a transcendent moment in our time. Winning not only ended a drought but brought together the life journeys of many generations.

More from Chicago Cubs News

With the foundation of success, however, leaves the by-product of the darker side of our journey. To get to the top, we have withstood growing pains and practically ruined lives in the pursuit of yet another justification for our failures.

Steve Bartman, from what I can only assume, is a decent person. Having never met him, I forget how easy it is to dismiss the true scale of suffering he must live with. In a split moment, controlled by reaction Bartman became part of the Cubs lore.

Moises Alou had every right to the ball, but let’s not pretend that he was a fielder worthy of making that play. Alou, who immediately acted in disgust only fanned the flames of a game six that was already seeping with anxiety.

Perception is everything in our society. We see and believe what we want to while allowing it to cloud our judgment. Take a look at our communities since the election and tell me perception doesn’t drive  that narrative.

Cub fans that became angry in the following moments became victims of that blinded perception. The visceral tone towards Bartman made him a convenient scapegoat. Alex Gonzalez booting a routine grounder was no longer the turning point. If cooler heads prevailed in that moment, we would have realized all was not lost.

The Cubs still possessed two more at-bats that night and game 7 to clinch the World Series. It was the failure on the field that we should have focused on.

Cubs hope to reconcile

With a title in the back pocket, the Cubs have acknowledged that they will look to meet with Bartman to put the incident to bed. The mere fact that we have to do this is both disappointing and sad.

The Cubs organization and fanbase ruined his life by not doing enough publicly to deflect the hatred pouring down on him. As I celebrated the win, I couldn’t help but think of the pain Bartman felt. The bittersweet taste of victory; but having to celebrate in silence as he has for over a decade. Bartman’s fandom and desire to be in attendance on a historical night cost him his job, his home, but more importantly his right to live in peace.

Next: Cards quietly add pieces

Fifteen years is a long time, and wounds do heal. Perhaps the invitation by the team is a step in right direction. Steve Bartman can never regain that time back. Our fanbase doesn’t truly deserve his return but I’ll take it if he’ll have us.

facebooktwitterreddit