Steve Bartman reportedly won’t attend Cubs’ NL Wild Card Game

Steve Bartman (blue cap) and Moises Alou would like to have this moment back.

John Biever/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Uttering the phrase “Steve Bartman” in the City of Chicago is still probably akin to saying “Bucky Dent” in Boston, “Reggie Miller” in New York or “JaMarcus Russell” in Oakland. But 12 years have apparently healed the wounds enough that some Cubs fans are willing to welcome the headphone-wearing Wrigley miscreant back into the fold.

With the Cubs set to appear in the National League Wild Card Game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Oct. 7 — their first playoff game since 2008 — a GoFundMe campaign started by one Keque Escobedo sought to send Bartman into the stands for the contest. The fundraising effort was titled simply “Get Bartman to Cubs wildcard game,” and asked for $5,000 to cover the expenses of Bartman’s attendance.

“Lifelong Cubs fan wants to make amends for 2003, let’s make it happen,” said the GoFundMe page. “First we need to find him to get him to the big game. If anyone knows where he is at, tell him we are looking for him. The money would pay for his expenses including his ticket, hotel room, flights and a little spending money. If he cannot be found by time of the big game all the proceeds raised will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.”

The campaign raised $2,830 from 247 donors in just three days and was shared 18,000 times on social media.

Unfortunately, Bartman caught wind of the offer and chose to respectfully decline. “It’s nice of these people to think of Steve, but he won’t be taking advantage of the offer,” said longtime Bartman spokesman Frank Murtha on Friday per Jesse Rogers of ESPN. “He’s perfectly capable of attending the game on his own, though he has no intention of being at the wild-card game. Steve is glad the money will go to a good cause and will be cheering on the Cubs as always.”

Bartman, now 37, infamously interfered with Cubs left fielder Moises Alou on a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, setting off a chain reaction of events that led to the Cubs blowing a chance at their first World Series appearance since 1945.

With a Cubs World Series berth in 2015 looking to be very much in the realm of possibilities (shout-out Back to the Future II?), maybe it is for the best that Bartman won’t be in attendance this coming Wednesday. After all, the Red Sox had to win TWO World Series titles before inviting Bill Buckner back to Fenway.

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