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Steve Bartman

 

Friday, December 19, 2003

 

 

By Darren Rovell

ESPN.com

 

The Steve Bartman legend lives on.

 

The foul ball that ricocheted off the infamous Chicago Cubs fan and into the hands of the lawyer sitting behind him sold for $106,600 early Friday morning.

 

 

The final price not only surpassed the original price paid for the cursed ball that went through Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner's legs in the 1986 World Series -- first purchased by actor Charlie Sheen for $93,500 in 1992 -- but also eclipsed the amount paid earlier this month for a Mickey Mantle home run ball hit in the 1964 World Series ($106,000).

 

 

The ball was purchased by Grant DePorter, a friend of the late Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray and managing partner of Harry Caray's Restaurant Group in Chicago.

 

 

DePorter told ESPN Radio's Mike Greenberg on "Mike & Mike In The Morning" that the restaurant will display the ball and ask for customers to come up with the best way they can think of to destroy it.

 

 

DePorter has already planned the destruction date -- February 26, 2004 -- when the restaurant will lead its annual toast to Harry Caray. He said that Bartman, whose current place of residence is unknown, is invited to the destruction site.

 

 

"There will be no pardon on this ball," DePorter told Greenberg.

 

 

The bidding on the Bartman ball opened at $5,000 on Dec. 1 and closed 18 days and 37 bids later. Memorabilia experts told ESPN.com prior to the auction that they anticipated the ball would garner bids in the $10,000 range.

 

 

"It was one of those pieces that we weren't quite sure how it would perform," said Mark Theotikos, vice president of auction operations for MastroNet, an Illinois-based sports auction house that sold more than $5 million dollars worth of sports memorabilia in the auction. "This one had legs, and as long as the Cubs keep on losing this ball will be like the Billy Goat."

 

 

The original owner of the ball, who would identify himself only as Jim, signed an affidavit along with the three men sitting nearby stating his claim that this was indeed the so-called cursed ball.

 

 

The incident occurred when the Cubs were five outs away from winning Game 6 of the NL Championship Series and advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1945. But after Bartman and other fans in the area tried to catch the foul ball, apparently hindering Cubs outfielder Moises Alou in his attempt to make a play, the Cubs unraveled. The Marlins scored eight runs and prevailed 8-3. Chicago then went on to lose the seventh and final game of the series.

 

 

Bartman will get no piece of the net proceeds from the auction.

 

 

Other items sold included the ball used by Emmitt Smith to set the NFL's all-time career rushing record ($58,000), a Ted Williams Red Sox home flannel jersey from 1960 ($50,000) and a blanket worn by Seabiscuit ($41,515).

 

Top selling balls

The ball Year sold The cost

McGwire's No. 70 1999 $3M

Aaron's No. 755 1999 $650,000

Bonds' No. 73 2003 $517,500

Mantle's No. 500 1999 $250,000

Sosa's No. 66 1999 $172,500

Ruth's first Yankee Stadium HR 1998 $126,000

Fisk's 1975 World Series Game 6 HR 1999 $113,273

Bartman ball 2003 $106,600

Mantle's 1964 World Series HR 2003 $106,000

Buckner ball 1992 $93,500

 

Damn, if Cub fans had an IQ over 2, they'd realize it wasn't Bartman's fault. The Cubs had a chance to clinch it, and lost it. Why blame the dude?They don't realize by paying money for that Baseball they're just making him feel worse.

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Damn, if Cub fans had an IQ over 2, they'd realize it wasn't Bartman's fault. The Cubs had a chance to clinch it, and lost it. Why blame the dude?They don't realize by paying money for that Baseball they're just making him feel worse.

Oh get off your high horse. Destroying the baseball does nothing to Bartman, in fact the guy probably wants it destroyed. It's a way of exorcising the past. I saw nothing in that article derogatory of Bartman in any way. Most Cubs fans are intelligent and forgive him, never mind the isolated cases that were reported on the news.

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Cub fans are fools.

 

First of all, do they really think that destroying this ball will "reverse the curse"?? If they do they are fools, because destroying a ball that didn't even directly cause them to lose game 6 isn't going to end the curse.

 

Second, why do these people go to the Billy Goat Restaurant? The Billy Goat is one of the most popular restaurants here in Chicago, and I don't understand why Cub fans patronize a restaurant whose owner put a curse on their beloved team.

 

And finally, I find it sad that a Cub fan got this ball. I would have liked to see a White Sox, Cardinals, or Marlins fan get this ball and rub in in the faces of these moron Cub fans, because they deserve it.

 

Good word Haray Carry's, you just wasted over 100 grand for a useless cause.

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Cub fans are fools.

 

First of all, do they really think that destroying this ball will "reverse the curse"?? If they do they are fools, because destroying a ball that didn't even directly cause them to lose game 6 isn't going to end the curse.

 

Second, why do these people go to the Billy Goat Restaurant? The Billy Goat is one of the most popular restaurants here in Chicago, and I don't understand why Cub fans patronize a restaurant whose owner put a curse on their beloved team.

 

And finally, I find it sad that a Cub fan got this ball. I would have liked to see a White Sox, Cardinals, or Marlins fan get this ball and rub in in the faces of these moron Cub fans, because they deserve it.

 

Good word Haray Carry's, you just wasted over 100 grand for a useless cause.

So Cubs fans are fools because they ruined your dream of a Marlins or White Sox fan getting the ball. Boo hoo.

 

You're stretching, Maggs. You really seem obsessed with the Cubbies, and looking for anyway to bash them.

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So Cubs fans are fools because they ruined your dream of a Marlins or White Sox fan getting the ball. Boo hoo.

 

You're stretching, Maggs. You really seem obsessed with the Cubbies, and looking for anyway to bash them.

No, cub fans are fools for the first 2 things i put, not the third thing, that is seperate.

 

And I'm not obsessed with the cubs and their fans, I simply laugh at their stupidity.

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So Cubs fans are fools because they ruined your dream of a Marlins or White Sox fan getting the ball. Boo hoo.

 

You're stretching, Maggs. You really seem obsessed with the Cubbies, and looking for anyway to bash them.

No, cub fans are fools for the first 2 things i put, not the third thing, that is seperate.

 

And I'm not obsessed with the cubs and their fans, I simply laugh at their stupidity. Ok, number 2, Sianis reversed the curse in 1969. Besides, not all Cubs fans believe in the Curse of the goat, or they don't believe it matters too much in theri lives for them to be boycotting a restaurant.

 

As for number 1, this is just a cathartic act, destroying the ball. Is a 100 grand too much to spend? Probably. But this is one guy footing the bill, not all of Cubdom. Call him a fool if you want. The rest of us get out catharsis for free. Tough to see how we're idiots in all this.

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