AISLE 4, ROW 8, SEAT 113


The Chicago Cubs may have won the National League Championship Series, but that doesn’t mean their fans are any less superstitious.

Take Bryan, for example (pictured above). He sat in the infamous Steve Bartman seat during Saturday night’s Game 6 clincher. We only know him as Bryan because he wouldn’t reveal his last name.


Well, 13 years have passed since “the Bartman incident” — and no one has forgotten him.

On October 14, 2003, Steve Bartman joined a farm animal (goat) and a feline (black cat) on the list of superstitions that are part of Chicago Cubs lore. Since that night no one has seen him or talked to him.

But Bryan knows who Steve Bartman is. He knows the significance of Aisle 4, Row 8, Seat 113 at Wrigley Field — and he wants nothing to do with it — because Bryan knows what happens to people (and animals) in the Cubs dark past: they are the outcasts, the derelicts, the wretched that are responsible for all the team’s failures.

Yahoo! Sports baseball writer Jeff Passan believes Chicago — the entire city and fanbase — owes Steve Bartman an apology. Some believe that apology could be presented by inviting him back to Wrigley Field tomorrow night to throw out the first pitch before Game 1 of the 2016 World Series.

Bartman has already essentially turned down the offer through his “representative” Frank Murtha:

“The likelihood that he would return to throw out a first ball or anything like that is probably slim, none and no chance. Steve’s goal in all this has been to return to a normal life, and the fact that we’re still talking about it 13 years after the fact is nothing short of bizarre.”

Can you blame him? Steve Bartman is to the Cubs what Bill Buckner is to the Red Sox and Scott Norwood is to the Bills. For years, both men have been called every name in the book for a simple mistake. That is a heavy — and unnecessary — load to carry. For Buckner, all is forgiven, not because of anything he’s done, but because of the Red Sox winning two World Series long after Buckner retired.

If the Cubs lose the World Series, you can bet Bartman will still be on the hook for mistake. But imagine the reaction if Bartman agreed to throw out the first pitch and then the Cubs went on to lose the Series? He would be responsible all … over … again.

If I’m Steve Bartman, the closest I get to Wrigley Field is my couch.

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About the author

John Strubel

Hi. My name is John Strubel. Thanks for visiting my website. I write primarily about my passion: baseball. In addition, I occasionally publish posts and podcasts related to sports media, journalism and technology impacting the industry. You can also connect with me on social media @johnstrubel.

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