Steve Bartman is "overjoyed" that the Cubs won the World Series, according to a report from USA Today, but the longtime Cubs fan did not attend the celebratory parade in Chicago on Friday.
Bartman infamously interfered with Moises Alou attempting to catch a foul popup in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series against the Marlins. At the time, the Cubs were leading the series, 3-2, and the game, 3-0, but the play led to the floodgates opening to an eight-run inning for the Marlins, who went on to win Games 6 and 7, and then the World Series.
Bartman faced a strong and unfortunate public backlash for the incident, as some Cubs fans blamed him for the team's demise. He subsequently disappeared from the public eye, but he naturally became more of a focal point as the Cubs inched closer to their elusive World Series title this fall.
Now, with the Cubs' title drought ended, maybe all can be forgiven.
"It's such a scapegoat," Cubs fan Dan Cohen said at Friday's victory parade. "It's sad for him, people used him as the excuse to express their anger."
"I think it's long gone," said Jim Parck, another Cubs fan in attendance at the celebration. "I think it's history. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. All is forgiven and everything's cool. I don't think we have to look back on that anymore."
Still, Bartman doesn't want to be "a distraction to the accomplishments of the players and the organization," said Frank Murtha, a lawyer who has served as Bartman's spokesperson, per the USA Today report.
As the city celebrates the Cubs' first World Series championship since 1908, Bartman will continue to lie low.
"He was just overjoyed that the Cubs won, as all the Cubs fans are," Murtha said, telling USA Today that he spoke to Bartman on the phone after the Cubs beat the Indians in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday. "We don't intend to crash the parade."
"I think people do need to forgive him and just let him be," Cubs fan Duncan Moss said at the parade. "It's all in the past now. It doesn't matter. This is a whole new time."
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.