For many people, watching a baseball game is a way to relax. However for Steve Bartman, it’s a much more haunting experience.
I recently watched an ESPN documentary on a fellow named Steve Bartman. He attended a playoff game for the Chicago Cubs. There was a crucial point in the game when the ball was hit into foul territory. In baseball, even if your ball is in foul territory, it can still be caught and ruled as an out. So the ball that was hit into foul territory was close enough to be grabbed by the fans and also by a Cubs player on the field. What happened next is one of the most infamous stories in baseball. A fan got in the way of the Cubs player being able to catch the ball and the game quickly unraveled from there. That fan that interfered was Steve Bartman. As the game progressed, more and more fans became upset with Bartman. They began chanting ugly things to him, throwing drinks and food at him, and threatening his life! Yikes!
Thankfully, there were some kind-hearted people at the game and made sure Bartman got home safely. For weeks after the game, police had to stand guard around his house to make sure no one attacked Bartman for “ruining” the game for the Cubs. Since that last time he was seen at the Cubs game, Bartman has never reappeared in the public spotlight. He’s had numerous offers for his side of the story, but he wants no part of it. Bartman has denied hundreds of requests from newspapers and televisions because he essentially wants to be left alone.
That’s the ugly side of sports. Be careful how the crowd influences what you do. And always remember; IT’S JUST A GAME. I wish some of my Sports Zone readers would’ve been at that game. On that night, I think Bartman could’ve really used a friend.