Tom Ricketts to reach out to vilified Steve Bartman 'at the right time'

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

After putting the Curse of the Billy Goat out to pasture, Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is looking to make peace with another one of the historical "ghosts" that have haunted the team over the years.

Having ended the Cubs' 108-year World Series championship drought, Ricketts now wants to contact Steve Bartman.

"It was just so important for this organization to put this lovable loser crap to bed," Ricketts told USA Today Sports on Wednesday. "...We had to get past that and put that in the history of the Cubs, and not the future. We changed that dialogue, and now, it's all a thing in the past."

Bartman was vilified by some in Chicago for attempting to catch a ball above outfielder Moises Alou along the wall in left field during Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series between the Cubs and Marlins. Bartman made contact but didn't catch it, and neither did Alou, who would have made the second out in the eighth inning but instead jumped up and down in frustration. The Cubs fell apart and lost that game and also Game 7.

"At the right time," Ricketts saidof his plan to contact Bartman. "I'm sure we'll figure something out that provides closure for everybody. Hopefully, we can make it work.

"I never focused on ghosts or curses or Bartman or any of that stuff. ... We wanted to eventually get to that point where we can pick out rings ... and here we are."

Frank Murtha, a lawyer who has served as Bartman's spokesman, told USA Today that Bartman still lives and works in the Chicago area. Bartman has not conducted any interviews since the 2003 incident.

"[Bartman] was just overjoyed that the Cubs won, as all the Cubs fans are," Murtha said after the Cubs clinched the title.

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