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Chicago Cubs Give World Series Ring to Fan Blamed for 2003 Loss

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This is What’s Trending Today.

In 2003, Chicago Cubs baseball fan Steve Bartman was watching his team play against the Florida Marlins in an important playoff game.

He was sitting in the front row of the stadium, down the left field line.

In the eighth inning of Game 6, the Cubs were leading, with a score of 3-0. Winning Game 6 would send them to the World Series for the first time in 95 years.

Luis Castillo of the Florida Marlins hit a ball high into the air. The ball went close to where Bartman was sitting in the stands. It was also near where Chicago’s left fielder, Moises Alou, could try to catch the ball.

As the ball came down, both Bartman and Alou reached for it. Other fans reached for it, too. The ball hit Bartman’s hands. Alou could not catch it.

Alou and many Cubs fans in the stadium got upset.

The Marlins went on to win the game. They also won the next game against the Cubs to reach the World Series, where they defeated the New York Yankees.

Chicago Cubs left fielder Moises Alou reaches into the stands unsuccessfully for a foul ball against the Florida Marlins in the eighth inning during Game 6 of the National League championship series
Chicago Cubs left fielder Moises Alou reaches into the stands unsuccessfully for a foul ball against the Florida Marlins in the eighth inning during Game 6 of the National League championship series

​Many fans blamed Bartman for the Cubs’ loss. They had thought their team was going to make it to the baseball championship.

They did not forgive him.

Bartman has not been to a Cubs game since. Some people say he moved to Florida.

Last year, the Cubs were once again playing for chance to go to the World Series. They defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then they defeated the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

It was the first championship for the Cubs in more than 100 years.

This photo provided by the Chicago Cubs baseball team shows a 2016 World Series championship ring.
This photo provided by the Chicago Cubs baseball team shows a 2016 World Series championship ring.

The Cubs players and many people who work for the team received a ring to celebrate the championship. It is a large ring, with diamonds and colored glass. There are 108 diamonds, in fact.

And this week, the Cubs gave a World Series ring to Bartman.

The team said it hoped the gift would “lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade.”

Bartman said he was “grateful” to receive the ring and hoped it would start the “healing” process for everyone involved.

Many people were pleased to the see the team reach out to Bartman after almost 15 years.

On Twitter, Donnie Gill wrote: “What an amazing, healing, inclusive, heart-warming gesture.”

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for VOA Learning English based on a report by ESPN. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Do you think Steve Bartman should have received a ring? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

playoffs – n. a series of games that is played after the end of the regular season in order to decide which player or team is the champion — usually plural

championship – n. an important competition that decides which player or team is the best in a particular sport, game, etc.

burden – n. someone or something that is very difficult to accept, do, or deal with

endure – v. to accept (something or someone) readily or gladly

decade – n. a period of 10 years

grateful – adj. feeling or showing thanks

stands – n. the seating area inside a stadium

left fielder – n. a baseball player who defends the left side of the outfield

amazing – adj. causing great surprise or wonder

gesture – n. something said or done to show a particular feeling or attitude

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