On a rainy, cool Sunday afternoon, 12 people standing outside Wrigley Field are asked if they know who Steve Bartman is. Five are from out of town.
Eleven say yes.
Close to eight years have passed since Bartman drew Cubs fans' -- and Moises Alou's -- ire for trying to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of a National League championship series eventually won by the Florida Marlins. An ESPN documentary premiering Tuesday looks at scapegoating -- and perhaps opens wounds anew.
Nobody knows how deeply those wounds are still felt. Since releasing a public statement through his brother-in-law the next day, Bartman has remained silent. No interviews. No appearances. Nothing.
Part of the story is that the media now plays along. Even in the reporting of a story running in Tuesday's Tribune, no attempts to reach Bartman were made. His stance seems pretty clear at this point, not to mention admirable.
In this day and age of faux celebrity and social media immediacy, Bartman has vanished. He hasn't chosen to cash in, even if 11 of 12 people know who he is in a brief survey sample.
His lawyer says he's happy. That should be good enough.
-- K.C. Johnson
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