Bartman’s Ghost Momentarily Haunts Florida State

For those living outside of Blowtown The Windy City, you may remember Steve Bartman as “that guy who caught that ball in that Cubs game and they went on to lose the playoffs or something.” While history almost repeated itself at Wrigley last month, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported a much closer life-imitates-Cubs-baseball moment in Sunday’s NCAA baseball super regional between Florida State and Wichita State.

Florida State-Wichita State in a near-Steve Bartman moment

Down 6-0 to the FSU Seminoles, Wichita State batter Andy Dirks hit a foul ball near the left field stands. The fielder raced for the pop fly, but a Seminoles fan reached out and made an impressive catch, sealing the pitch’s fate as a foul ball. The next pitch? You guessed it — a 2-run home run to start a rally.

The 6-0 lead soon became 6-4, and shades of Bartman began enveloping Dick Howser Stadium, causing dark clouds, earthquakes, and one purported Cthulhu sighting, although since that one was e-mailed in by an mIRC user, not much substance is being given to it.

Then the clouds parted, rainbows popped into the sky and children began singing and laughing. Florida State went onto score five more runs and win 11-4 to advance to the College World Series.

The money graf from Schlabach:

“Sports fans are very unforgiving, so the fan who plucked Dirks’ foul ball might have ended up in FSU sports infamy next to former Seminoles quarterback Chris Rix. At the very least, the fan was escorted out of the stadium by security personnel.”

Whoa, huge slam on Chris Rix, out of nowhere! (Which, conveniently, explains all those 2nd and longs.)

The ORLANDO SENTINEL’s Seminoles blog CHOPPING BLOCK said the fan — he’s going to stay anonymous, good call — was just trying to get a baseball for his 5-year-old son. He was last seen wearing a Florida State No. 4 football jersey and shorts. So if you see anyone in Tallahassee wearing that, well, then it’s probably him.