The Cubs parade through downtown Chicago Friday morning. A famous figure from the team’s past sends his regrets (he has a few).
“We don’t intend to crash the parade,’’ Frank Murtha, a spokesman for Steve Bartman, told USA Today. “The one thing that Steve and I did talk about was if the Cubs were to win, he did not want to be a distraction to the accomplishments of the players and the organization.’
Bartman leaned from his first-row seat down the left-field line in hopes of catching a foul ball during Game Six of the NLDS in 2003. In doing so, he impeded Cubs outfielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch the second out of the inning. The Cubs, leading 3-0 at this point, lost the game 8-3 and the series in seven games. Bartman’s look—walkman, glasses, and Cubs cap—became widely lampooned and he entered team lore along with Murphy the Goat as a malicious talisman dooming the franchise to a forever of frustration.
The parade begins at Wrigley Field and concludes with a noon rally at Grant Park. The city government expects massive crowds and plans to funnel people coming into Grant Park for the rally through a security checkpoint. Killjoys at city hall inform: “There will be zero tolerance for drinking on the public way.”
Steve Bartman, who presumably hasn’t spent the last 13 years drinking as some of his harassers have, remains silent on the whole subject. But his lawyer friend insists the Cubs brought him joy as they did others in Chicagoland.
“He was just overjoyed that the Cubs won,” Murtha told the newspaper, “as all the Cubs fans are.’’