Chicago Cubs fans are looking to reconcile with one of their most infamous followers after it was revealed that a GoFundMe page has been set up to try and get Steve Bartman to the wild card game.
It’s been 12 years since Steve Bartman became the focal point for every single Cubs fans’ ridicule and hate after he tried to catch a foul ball that Moises Alou looked destined to catch in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field.
At the time, Chicago were winning 3-0 and were just five outs away from their first National Pennant since 1945. But Bartman’s interference meant that Moises Alou was unable to catch the ball, and this proved to be the catalyst for the Marlins to go on and win the game 8-3. They subsequently won the pennant the next night, as well as the World Series.
Chicago Cubs fans soon pinned all the blame for their defeat on Steve Bartman, and because of the torrent of abuse that he received, he hasn’t shown his face at a game or been seen in public for 12 whole years.
Keque Escobedo has now looked to right the many wrongs that have befallen Steve Bartman ever since that fateful night on October 14, 2003. He has set up a GoFundMe page entitled, “Get Bartman To Cubs Wildcard Game.”
Speaking for his fellow Chicago Cubs fans, Escobedo insists that the time is now, with the Cubs having one of their best seasons for over a decade, to make amends with the infamous fan. Escobedo wrote the following on the page.
“Lifelong Cubs fan wants to make amends for 2003, lets make it happen. First we need to find him to get him to the big game.
“If anyone knows where he is at, tell him we are looking for him. The money would pay for his expenses including his ticket, hotel room, flights, and a little spending money.”
And just in case you think that Escobedo might be convinced to pocket the money if they don’t find Bartman during this period, he added, “If he cannot be found by the time of the big game all the proceeds raised will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.”
But how have Chicago Cubs fans reacted to Escobedo’s call for help? The campaign has made a reasonable start. Just three days after it was launched it has already raised $920 of their intended $5,000 total.
However, that total will surely rise as more and more people become aware of the project. It has also now been shared a total of 13,000 times too.
Donations have been flowing in over the last few days, but there was one in particular that immediately raised a chortle.
At this point in time, it looks like, if they can raise the money, the Chicago Cubs fans will be paying for Steve Bartman to travel to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates next Wednesday for the National League wild-card game.
But it’s going to be a huge task for Cubs fans to actually find Bartman. After the incident, Bartman was escorted from the stadium by security guards, while police officers were even forced to protect him as MLB message boards listed his name and address. Since then, Bartman has vanished.
Bartman has since become as synonymous with the failure of the Cubs as the Curse of the Billy Goat, which emerged during the 1945 World Series when Billy Sianis and his pet goat were ejected from Wrigley Field, and Sianis told the crowd that Cubs weren’t going to win anymore. In fact, via CSN Chicago, an attempt to reverse the above curse, last month Takeru Kobayashi, a competitive eater, ate a 40-pound goat.
If they can convince Bartman to eat a goat, then this could really be Cubs’ year.
[Photos by MLB & Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images & Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]