Daniel Murphy was about to enter the visitor’s clubhouse in Chicago when he saw someone who looked out of place.
“I need to investigate this,” Daniel said to himself. He ducked around the corner and reached into his gym bag, which was already in hand. He pulled out his orange and blue Superhero costume and moments later, he was running back towards the figure.
“Halt! Who goes there?” Daniel said.
The bespeckled figure turned and looked at the Superhero. Daniel thought he looked very familiar.
“Hey…” Daniel said. “Don’t I know you?”
“Uh, no…” the person fumbled. “You don’t know me at all. I’m serious. You really don’t.”
Daniel looked at him closely. Glasses. Check. Blue hat with the letter “C”. Check. Earphones. Check. Sweatshirt covering up a green turtleneck. Check. “Hey!” Daniel said. “You’re Steve Bartman!”
“Um… no,” the person said. “I get that all the time. I mean, I look a lot like him, but I’m not him at all. Really. I’m not him. I’m being serious.”
“I think you are Steve Bartman!” Daniel said.
“Shhh!!!” Steve said. “Okay, okay, I’m Steve Bartman. Just don’t say it so loudly!”
“So what are you doing by the visitor’s clubhouse, Steve?”
“If you must know, I’m trying to help my team,” Steve said.
“I’m part of the curse. I figured if I hung out by the visitor’s clubhouse, maybe some of the curst will rub off on the other team and we’ll one day win again. Then, and maybe then, I can show my face in the stands again,” Steve said.
“How long have you been doing this, Steve?” Daniel asked.
“Every home stand since 2004.”
“And has it worked?”
“Well, no. But I’m going to keep on trying!” Steve said.
“Listen, Steve. I feel for you. I really do. But this isn’t the way to do it.”
“But I just want to see my team win so badly,” Steve said. “I can’t stand being an outcast!”
“I tell you what,” Daniel said. “I’m pretty good friends with that strapping young second baseman Daniel Murphy. How about we get you a good disguise and we’ll find you a seat in the bleachers where no one will ever look for you?”
“You’ll do that for me?” Steve said.
“Yes,” Daniel said. “I know it’s not easy when everyone is against you.”
“Gee, thanks Superhero!”
Not too long afterward, Steve Bartman found himself in the center field bleachers, wearing a fake wig, mustache and glasses and a bright orange t-shirt sitting among 500 other screaming and yelling fans that made the trip from New York.