I am not a Cubs fan, so it is ironic to me that I am writing about the Cubs two days in a row, but an incident warrants it. Yesterday I learned that the Cubs organization gave an authentic World Series Championship ring to someone not directly in the organization: Steve Bartman!
In case you don't know anything about the Cubs, fan Steve Bartman grabbed a foul ball in the 2003 National League Championship -- a ball some thought could have been caught for an out. As a result, he has been the butt of jokes and cause of scorn for more than a decade, and blamed by many as being personally responsible for the Cubs' demise that year.
But yesterday, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, and president of baseball operations,Theo Epstein, brought Bartman to Wrigley Field and presented him with a personalized championship ring just like the players'. Part of their statement said: "We hope this provides closure on an unfortunate chapter of the story...while no gesture can fully lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade, we felt it was important Steve knows he has been and continues to be fully embraced by this organization..." Talk about high class!
Do you have a "Steve Bartman" in your organization -- someone who has been ostracized or whose legacy casts a shadow on the current operations? Is there a person who was blamed for doing what he or she thought was right at the time, but has paid a heavy price in the folklore when things did not turn out as originally planned? Maybe they didn't catch a foul ball, but purchased a building or equipment, created a logo or implemented a practice that has long been ridiculed.
Take a page out of the Cubs' playbook and extend an olive branch to welcome your "Steve" back into the game. It is much easier to move forward when the ghosts of the past aren't in play. And much classier too!
Click here to see the full story on WGN.