Tom Ricketts explains why Cubs decided to give Steve Bartman a World Series ring
Steve Bartman’s name will live in infamy forever, but at least he has something only a couple thousand people can say: A Cubs 2016 World Series ring.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Bartman was one of the most head-scratching choices</a> to receive one of the 1,908 rings the Cubs handed out last year. The most notorious fan in Cubs history obviously didn’t do anything to aid the 2016 Cubs in their pursuit to reverse the curse and win a championship.” data-reactid=”23″>Bartman was one of the most head-scratching choices to receive one of the 1,908 rings the Cubs handed out last year. The most notorious fan in Cubs history obviously didn’t do anything to aid the 2016 Cubs in their pursuit to reverse the curse and win a championship.
So why give him a ring?
At the time, the Cubs called it goodwill, hoping to bury the ugly incidents throughout the 108 years of World Series futility.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts was actually against giving Bartman a ring initially.
“I give credit to [Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney],” Ricketts said Saturday at the Cubs Convention at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. “He came to me and said, ‘You know, we should give Steve a ring to acknowledge what we’ve been through.’
“At first, I was like, our whole thing is to not look back. Stop worrying about what happened and worry about moving forward and the future. But Crane made a good case and the logistics side for us to add some closure.”
So Ricketts, Kenney and Theo Epstein sat down to hash out the details.
“I think it was a good moment for the organization,” Ricketts said. “I mean, the poor guy. True diehard fan. Reguarlarly attended games, coached baseball. Hopefully now he can feel like he’s back in the family.”
That “family” characteristic is one that Ricketts holds dear, classifying all Cubs fans as part of the “family.” Ricketts also said Saturday Ronnie Woo Woo is part of the Cubs “family” despite a dispute between Woo Woo and the Cubs last year that involved the unofficial mascot getting kicked out of Wrigley Field for not having a ticket.
Ricketts hopes Bartman can get back into baseball now and not have to remain in hiding. As the Cubs owner pointed out, Bartman wasn’t the only fan who reached his hand out for that 2003 foul ball, but was the only one unfortunate enough to make contact.
Ricketts added a mic-drop one-liner about how Alex Gonzalez botched a routine ground ball immediately after Bartman’s accidental gaffe:
“Of course, he didn’t fail to turn the double play three minutes later.”