With less than a week until Spring Training kicks off, I’m getting pretty excited.
I hit up StubHub and snagged some super cheap (read: $16.50) Red Sox/Twins tickets for this coming May at Fenway and I can tell that I’ve certainly got baseball fever as I continue scouring through other ticket options.
Who needs groceries when you can get baseball tickets, right?!
Anyway, I figure after picking on the Red Sox earlier this week with the Boone home run—and receiving an ample amount of flack for it—the only fair thing to do is attack another fan-base that has suffered through numerous close calls and heartaches over the years.
As such, today we’re taking a peek at one of the darker days in recent memory for Chicago Cubs fans, Game Six of the 2003 National League Championship Series:
I remember watching “The Bartman Game,” in my dorm room sophomore year. It was a heckuva game and I really thought the Cubs had the game under control and a trip to the World Series in hand.
Heading into the eighth inning, the Cubbies were cruising. The club was up 3-0 and Mark Prior, the team ace, was on the hill and absolutely dominating the Marlins offense.
Marlins’ leadoff man, Juan Pierre ripped a one-out double to left field and that brought up second baseman, Luis Castillo.
Castillo sent a lazy pop up into foul territory and Cubs left fielder Moises Alou went up to get it, but it deflected off the hands of a fan by the name of Steve Bartman. Alou was enraged and called for fan interference, but the umpires made the right call and the play stood as a foul.
Prior eventually walked Castillo and then—with the help of a costly error by shortstop Alex Gonzalez—went into self-destruct mode. The Marlins rallied to score eight runs in the inning and went on to win the game by the score of 8-3.
The Marlins came back out the next night and beat the Cubs again 9-6 to move onto the World Series where they beat the Yankees en route to the club’s second World Championship.
A lot of people—mostly delusional Cubs fans—blame Bartman for the Cubs losing that game, but the reality of the situation is that the Cubs still lost the game.
Chicago was up 3-0 with one out in the eighth inning when Bartman deflected a ball that was in foul territory. The Cubs couldn’t hold their three run lead and then proceeded to choke again the next night with the team’s second-best pitcher, Kerry Wood on the mound.
Steve Bartman didn’t cost the Cubs a shot at the World Series, the Cubs shot themselves in the foot by letting the Marlins climb back into Game Six and then by rolling over and dying in Game Seven.
Either way, it certainly is a memorable Major League Moment.