The Steve Bartman Incident

Jamie Mandik

Indy Writer

The Steve Bartman incident happened during a Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason game played between the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Marlins on October 14, 2003.  This game was at Wrigley Field in Chicago and Cubs fans will never forgive Bartman.  From this game forward, his life was changed and not for the better.


With the Cubs leading the National League Championship Series (NLCS) 3-2, several spectators attempted to catch a foul ball off the bat of Florida second baseman Luis Castillo.  It was in the eighth inning of Game 6 with Chicago leading   3-0, one of the fans, Steve Bartman, reached for the foul ball.  If Bartman didn’t disrupt the possible catch by Cubs outfielder, Moisés Alou, Alou would have caught the ball.  This would have been the second out in the inning and the Cubs would have been just four outs away from winning their first National League pennant since 1994.  However, the Cubs ended up giving up eight runs in the inning and lost the game 8-3.  This is when Steve Bartman was seen as the “first domino.”


Bartman has been a lifelong, devoted, and loyal Cubs fan.  He made a silly mistake and no one will ever forget it.  After his incident in Wrigley Field, he was escorted from the stadium by security guards.   Bartman was placed under police protection for a time, when his name and address were made public on MLB message boards.


The ball that was caught by Bartman was taken by a Chicago lawyer and sold at an auction in December 2003.  Grant DePorter purchased it for $113,824.16 on behalf of Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group.  The seat that Bartman sat when he caught the foul ball became a tourist attraction at Wrigley Field.  Fans taking pictures of each other sitting in aisle 4, Row 8, Seat 113 became a popular event.


Alou stated, “You know what the funny thing is? I wouldn’t have caught it, anyway.”  Although Alou said he wouldn’t have been able to catch this foul ball, Steve Bartman will forever be a curse toward the Chicago Cubs.  So next time you’re at Wrigley Field and you see a foul ball hit toward you, do NOT catch it.  Or else.


(Featured image retrieved from:

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