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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.


Alex Gibney


Alex Gibney
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Moises Alou Moises Alou ... Himself
Steve Bartman Steve Bartman ... Himself
Rod Blagojevich ... Himself (archive footage)
Ron Borges Ron Borges ... Himself
Tom Brokaw ... Himself (archive footage)
Bill Buckner Bill Buckner ... Himself
Bob Costas ... Himself
Josh Doust Josh Doust ... Himself
Wayne Drehs Wayne Drehs ... Himself
Leon Durham Leon Durham ... Himself (archive footage)
Dwight Evans Dwight Evans ... Himself
Will Ferrell ... Himself (archive footage)
Alex Gibney ... Himself
Jeff Gowen Jeff Gowen ... Himself
Brian J. Hedger Brian J. Hedger ... Himself (as Brian Hedger)


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Sport







Release Date:

10 June 2011 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Did You Know?


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.'
See more »


Features 1984 National League Championship Series (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

Amazing tale of a man who should be forgiven
5 October 2011 | by metalrox_2000See all my reviews

Im not sure how ESPN goes about choosing those who direct the documentaries in the 30 for 30 series, but they always seem to find the best.

The documentary is as much about Bartman as it is the overall reaction of long suffering Cubs fans. Add in the description of how the Cubs securities forces got Steve Bartman out of there alive, and you have a fast moving, very entertaining and informative docudrama.

And there is plenty of new light shed on the infamous incident. Testimonies from fans that sat near Bartman (many of whom sympathize with the hapless Cubs fan) and learning that Bartman was actually at the game with friends was interesting. However, this pails in comparison when there is focus on the little league team (whose sweater Bartman was wearing that night) that Bartman was coaching at the time, and those young ball players support of their coach.

If anyone comes out the villain, it's the arrogant Cubs fan who left his seats in the nose bleed section to yell at Bartman, a man who to this day admits that he'd do it again, and blames Bartman for the Cubs lose.

Moises Alou doesn't come off too good at all. Alou comes off arrogant, and dismissive of the suffering that Bartman went through. Even with Alou's thick accent, you can tell that he still deep down blames Steve Bartman for the Cubs never making it to the world series.

This film not only manages to shed tons of new details on the incident, but also manages to have the viewer walk away wanting to buy Steve Bartman a beer and pat him on the back, instead of crucifying him.

And maybe that's what the Cubs (and their fans) need to do. It's time for the Cubs to forgive Steve Bartman the way the Red Sox forgave Bill Buckner.

PS It was interesting to know that Buckner was wearing a Cubs batting glove on his hand when he missed the bunt from Mookie Wilson.

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