Chicago Cubs to give Steve Bartman a 2016 World Series ring

Bartman known for infamous foul ball play in 2003
Chicago Cubs to give Steve Bartman a 2016 World Series ring
Posted at 1:03 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 16:03:53-04

The Chicago Cubs will give a 2016 World Series ring to infamous fan Steve Bartman, Chicago's WGN reported Monday.

Bartman has been reviled in Chicago since he tipped a foul ball near near the field of play in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS.

The Cubs later blew their lead to the-then Florida Marlins in that game, and lost Game 7 to extend their title drought. Chicago finally broke the 108-year 'curse' last fall in a seven-game thriller against the Cleveland Indians.

Bartman issued a statement to WGN following the gift:

"Although I do not consider myself worthy of such an honor, 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. Most meaningful is the genuine outreach from the Ricketts family, on behalf of the Cubs organization and fans, signifying to me that I am welcomed back into the Cubs family and have their support going forward.

"I am relieved and hopeful that the saga of the 2003 foul ball incident surrounding my family and me is finally over."

Bartman went on to say he hopes "we all can learn from my experience to view sports as entertainment and prevent harsh scapegoating... and not exploit any individual to advance their own self-interest or economic gain."

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts also released a statements to WGN:

“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.

"While no gesture can fully lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade, we felt it was important Steve knows he has been and continues to be fully embraced by this organization. After all he has sacrificed, we are proud to recognize Steve Bartman with this gift today.”

The Cubs are in first place in the NL Central as they look to defend their crown this season.