put a ring on it

Once loathed by Chicago, infamous fan Bartman has been given a World Series ring by the Cubs

Once blamed for the Cubs’ 2003 play-off collapse, the world series champions have attempted to bring closure to the ugly incident.

STEVE BARTMAN, THE infamous Chicago Cubs supporter who was ostracized after a 2003 playoff incident where he interfered with a potential catch, was awarded a World Series championship ring today by the MLB champions.

Bartman was loathed and harangued for years as part of the “cursed” Cubs, his attempt to grab a foul ball while in a front-row seat at Wrigley Field foiled Cubs outfielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch it in the eighth inning of the sixth game of the 2003 National League Championship Series.

The tale, subject of the ESPN film Catching Hell, became an epic in American sports lore because the Cubs, who led the game 3-0 and the best-of-seven series 3-2, went on to surrender eight runs in the inning and lost the game to Florida 8-3 and dropped the series to the Marlins in seven games.

Last year, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908, ending the longest championship drought in North American sports history by defeating the Cleveland Indians in the dramatic seventh game of the World Series, ending the “curse.”

That provided the chance for the Cubs to repay Bartman in some measure for the suffering he underwent for his actions in the playoff game 14 years ago.

“I am relieved and hopeful that the saga of the 2003 foul ball incident surrounding my family and me is finally over,” Bartman said in a statement.

Although I do not consider myself worthy of such an honour, I am deeply moved and sincerely grateful to receive an official Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series championship ring.

“I am fully aware of the historical significance and appreciate the symbolism the ring represents on multiple levels. My family and I will cherish it for generations.”

Bartman was presented with the ring in the offices of Cubs owner Tom Ricketts.

“We hope this provides closure on an unfortunate chapter of the story that has perpetuated throughout our quest to win a long-awaited World Series,” Ricketts said.

Bartman also received a tour of Wrigley Field, where his seat has become a mini-tourist attraction as his saga is recalled.

MLB / YouTube

Bartman rose to try and catch a foul ball hit by Luis Castillo, not realizing Alou was racing over to make a leaping attempt to grab the ball for what would have been a crucial out.

After Bartman deflected the ball from Alou’s glove, the frustrated left-fielder took off his glove and hurled it to the ground, yelling at several fans.

Ramiro Munoz / YouTube

As the game continued and the Cubs collapse came, Bartman had to be escorted by security out of the ballpark, one fan dumping a beer upon him in anger. Police guarded his home and he changed his phone number while rejecting appearance requests.

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