All Steve Bartman wants is to be left alone. To have the infamy of his foul ball exploits during Game Six of the 2003 NLCS for the Chicago Cubs go away. But the Miami Marlins will not let that go.
The Marlins are making certain that Bartman stays in the forefront for an understandable reason. 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of his assistance in getting them to their second championship. And the Cubs are heading to town at the end of the the month. As such, April 28 through April 30 has been designated “Bartman Appreciation Weekend.”
Miami Marlins holding on to one thing they have over Chicago Cubs
It is understandable that the Marlins would want to hold on to Bartman and that foul ball. They have just seven winning seasons in franchise history, with 2020 their only positive year since 2009. The Marlins have reached the postseason just three times, with 2003 their most recent championship.
But this is more than the Marlins celebrating one of their few bright spots in franchise history. Bartman was scapegoated for the Cubs’ implosion despite other fans also reaching for that ball. He had become a pariah amongst Cubs’ fans, ostracized by his favourite team. The World Series championship in 2016, and the lifting of the Curse of the Billy Goat, finally brought closure to Bartman. He has been brought back into the fold, given his own World Series ring, and has been able to move on.
It is possible that those old wounds could re-open. The Cubs and their fans may have forgiven Bartman, but he will now be thrust back into the public eye. That moment will be replayed over and over again, even if it is just during those Marlins-Cubs games. That moment will come back, refusing to die because the Marlins have nothing else to celebrate.
The Miami Marlins are hosting “Bartman Appreciation Weekend” against the Chicago Cubs. It is a sign of how desperate the Marlins are for anything to celebrate.