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Catching Hell (2011)

After the Chicago Cubs blow an opportunity to reach the World Series in 2003, Cubs fans blame the team's misfortune on fellow fan Steve Bartman, who interfered with a foul ball and prevented Moises Alou from making a catch.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Moises Alou ...
Himself
Steve Bartman ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Ron Borges ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Bill Buckner ...
Himself
...
Himself
Josh Doust ...
Himself
Wayne Drehs ...
Himself
Leon Durham ...
Himself (archive footage)
Dwight Evans ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
Jeff Gowen ...
Himself
Brian J. Hedger ...
Himself (as Brian Hedger)
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Storyline

When Chicagoan Steve Bartman fatefully deflected a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, the city's long-suffering Cubs fans found someone new to blame for their cursed century without a World Series title. Director Alex Gibney explores the psychology of die-hard sports fans, the frightening phenomenon of scapegoating, and the hysteria that turned mild-mannered Bartman into the most hated man in Chicago. Written by Tribeca Film Festival

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Documentary | Sport

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10 June 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Mike Lowell: In the dugout we saw, you know, obviously the Bartman thing and I remember Mark Redman, one of our pitchers, said 'Let's make him famous.'
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User Reviews

Scapegoats
8 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was pretty familiar with both of these stories, but this two-hour special was still very good and a real eye-opener in parts, particularly on Steve Bartman.

Basically, it's a story of injustice. It's about two men, one a ballplayer in Boston and another, a fan in Chicago, and how one incident unjustly ruined their lives. The ballplayer is Bill Buckner, who let a ground ball go through his legs which contributed - not cost

  • to his team losing the 1986 World Series to the New York Mets. Most
people have seen lots of footage of the amazing comeback of the Mets in that series and know how the media (mainly) made Buckner the scapegoat.

The bulk of this ESPN story, however, deals with Bartman, the unlucky fan who did what everyone else does at a game: reached with outstretched arms for a foul ball. In a nutshell, the Cubs - whose fans were desperate for the team's first championship since 1908 - lost the game and went on to miss the World Series. They blamed it on this fan because the Cubs left fielder, Moises Alou, made a big stink about it on the field and it would have given the Cubs two outs in the eighth inning while they were holding a 3-0 lead. If they won, they would have advanced to the world series. The opponents, the Florida Marlins, went on to score eight runs in the inning, won the next game, as they won the World Series. Who did the Cubs fans blame? The shortstop who booted an easy double-play ball in the inning? The pitchers who gave up all the runs? Nooooo. They blamed Bartman, a nerdy-looking young man who just there rooting for his beloved Cubs like everyone else.

The shocking part of the story is the behind-the-scenes footage at the game, the stuff you didn't see in this 2003 playoff game. The abuse this young guy took was unbelievable. You have to see it and hear it to believe it. It's shocking and it's disgraceful. It's a wonder he made it out alive from Wrigley Field and still lives - although in a pretty secret world - in the Chicago area.

This is one of those stories that a review here doesn't do the story justice. You have to sit and watch "Catching Hell" to get the full impact. It left me speechless.


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