You go to a baseball game to see your beloved team in the postseason, and the next thing you know you’re the most hated man in a city and you go into hiding for the next 12 years.
That’s Steve Bartman’s life in one sentence because of what happened in 2003.
The Cubs have been in the postseason twice since then and were quickly dispatched both times.
Bartman, who had to be escorted by police out of Wrigley Field, has never spoken publicly about the incident, and that’s been just fine with Cubs fans.
But something is different this year. The Cubs are actually good and Chicago fans are feeling magnanimous, thinking that maybe it’s time to forgive the poor guy.
He’s having none of it.
Last week, a group of fans started a GoFundMe page to get Bartman to tonight’s wild card game with the Cubs. It raised about $3,500 before Bartman let it be known — how we don’t know since nobody seems to know where he is — that he’s not interested. The fans will give the money to Alzheimer’s research instead.
Cubs fans have tried everything to break the curse they insist Bartman visited on the team that night.
Grant DePorter, the chief executive of a restaurant chain, paid $114,000 for the ball and destroyed it to try to lift the gloom.
FINALLY! What’s left of the “Bartman ball” and Moises Alou’s glove together…as it should have been in 2003! pic.twitter.com/eLya0UErzJ
— Lauren Petty (@LaurenPettyNBC) October 7, 2015
“If he ever chooses to speak publicly, it will be in a time and place and medium of his choice, not one that has been imposed on him by others,” a family friend and spokesman said in 2011. “That’s not to say he will do that. At this point, he has no immediate plans for discussion.”
Apparently he’s in financial services, but beyond that, nobody knows anything about his life since the play.
Even the New York Times, which has specialized in uncovering secrets, couldn’t find Bartman when it tried to do an interview on the 10th anniversary of the play.
“I want to find Bartman and give him a hug and tell him, ‘It’s OK,’ ” comedian Jeff Garlin said.
That can never happen until the Cubs win the World Series, and even then it might not happen.
Because baseball isn’t just a game to a lot of people.