(CBS) For those of you Cubs fans who have forgotten or purposely pushed the memory to the back of your minds, today is the 11th anniversary of the Steve Bartman incident. On Oct. 14, 2003, the Cubs were just six outs from advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1945, holding a 3-0 lead over the Marlins heading into the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field.
With one on and one out as Chicago right-hander Mark Prior worked on a gem, Luis Castillo lifted a ball down the left-field line that Cubs outfielder Moises Alou gave chase to. As the ball drifted toward the stands, Alou elevated but had his chance to nab the ball interrupted by Cubs fan Steve Bartman, who may or may not have leaned over the imaginary boundary and into the field of play. It wasn’t ruled fan interference.
Everyone knows what happened next — the Marlins erupted for eight runs to win Game 6, took Game 7 to crush the Cubs’ hearts and cemented a legacy of blame upon Bartman.
Well, lo and behold, then-Cubs first baseman Eric Karros has unearthed a precious artifact from that day. On Tuesday, Karros showed off his World Series hat that never was. These hats had been placed in front of the Cubs players’ lockers as victory seemed imminent.
Don’t fret too long, Cubs fans. The future is now here, and you’re in Theo’s good hands.