The Chicago Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945. Jason Kipnis, now an infielder for the Cleveland Indians, grew up in Chicago as a diehard Cubs fan. Even though he’ll be playing against his boyhood team when the World Series kicks off Tuesday night in Cleveland, he thinks there’s one man who deserves forgiveness — Steve Bartman.
”We have a joke,” said Kipnis. ”The only thing I’m mad at Bartman for is missing an easy flyball.”
If you somehow weren’t aware, Bartman is the fan who reached over the edge of the stands to try and snag a foul ball in the 2003 NLCS between the Cubs and the Florida Marlins. His interference potentially prevented Cubs outfielder Moisés Alou from making the catch. The Cubs would go on to give up eight runs that inning, and lose Game Six. They then lost the deciding Game Seven the next day and Bartman Curse was born. He became public enemy number one in the city of Chicago.
”He didn’t deserve that,” Kipnis said. ”He never asked for all the stuff that probably happened to him afterward. I don’t think he deserved any of that. He was probably actually a pretty loyal fan and he wanted a ball, and it’s just the way events turns that turned him into this scapegoat.”
Kipnis is hoping that Bartman can finally be forgiven now that the Cubs have returned to the World Series.
”I would love to see him throw out a first pitch,” he said. ”Everyone would go nuts.”
Despite his lifelong fandom for the Cubs, Kipnis doesn’t have mixed feelings about who he wants to win. No matter what, one team will be ending a decades long championship drought. And Kipnis hopes that the Indians can extend the 108-year Cubs wait by at least one more year.
”They have the only drought that could make our drought look small,” he said. ”They’ve got us by 40 years. Both franchises have been yearning for this championship, but it’s pretty neat one of them will come to an end.”
”There’s not one part of me that doesn’t wish this curse would keep going,” he added.