CHICAGO (CBS) — Owner Tom Ricketts told USA Today that the Cubs plan to reach out “at the right time” to fan Steve Bartman, who was scapegoated by some when the Cubs lost the National League Championship Series to the Marlins in 2003.
Bartman’s lawyer and spokesman, Frank Murtha, says he doesn’t know what the Cubs may have in mind. Bartman would have to assess the potential impact any gesture by the Cubs would have, Murtha said.
Reaching out to Bartman would be designed to provide closure for both sides, Ricketts told USA Today. for everyone. Bartman interfered with a foul ball in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the NLCS in 2003, and the Cubs collapsed shortly after being just five outs away from advancing to the World Series. They would go on to lose Game 7 as well.
“Do you keep injecting life into (the foul ball play) or is there some sort of vampire-like dagger that you can use to put through the heart of it?” Murtha asked.
Bartman caught the ire of many fans for a long time afterward, and Murtha said he continued to receive death threats even through this past season, which culminated with the Cubs breaking their championship drought that dated back to 1908.
Bartman’s “main goal has always been to return to his normal life as is possible for him at this point and whether (a gesture by the Cubs) would aid in that process or not, we’d have to assess it at the time,” Murtha said.
Bartman has continued to remain a loyal, devoted Cubs fan, and no one is happier as a fan than Bartman that the Cubs won the World Series this year, Murtha said.
Asked whether Bartman has been back to Wrigley Field since the 2003 incident, Murtha responded that he wouldn’t confirm or deny that.