CHICAGO -- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, basking in the glow of the franchise winning its first World Series since 1908, said they're now discussing championship rings and indicated they may invite Steve Bartman back for some closure.
In an interview with USA Today, Ricketts said the team may try to resolve the friction many fans feel toward Bartman, who was villified for trying to catch a foul ball during Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series between the Cubs and Marlins at Wrigley Field. The incident happened in the eighth inning during Luis Castillo's at-bat. Castillo eventually walked, and the Marlins went on to score eight runs that inning, aided by an error by shortstop Alex Gonzalez. Florida won, 8-3, to tie the series at three games apiece, and then won Game 7.
"I'm sure we'll reach out to him at the right time," Ricketts told USA Today, "and I'm sure we'll figure something out that provides closure for everybody. Hopefully we can make it work.
"But you know, I never focused on ghosts or curses or Bartmans or any of that stuff. It's always been about needing a better team on the field. We wanted to eventually get to that point where we can pick out rings, like we did [Tuesday], and here we are."
A Cubs spokesman told MLB.com on Wednesday that there is no timetable regarding contacting Bartman. As for the rings, Ricketts said they will seek input from the players regarding the design.
The Cubs' winning the World Series ended the longest championship drought in any professional sport.
"It was just so important for this organization," Ricketts said, "to put this 'lovable loser' [stuff] to bed.
"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."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.