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Ricketts: Cubs plan to reach out to Bartman for ‘closure’

Cubs left fielder Moises Alou's arm is seen reaching into the stands, at right, unsuccessfully for a foul ball against the Marlins in the eighth inning during Game 6 of the NLCS in 2003. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts says one of his top missions has been accomplished.

“It was just so important for this organization,’’ Ricketts told USA TODAY Sports, “to put this lovable loser crap to bed.

“Despite all of the successes of the year, had that game gotten away from us, the next morning’s stories were going to be all about the Cubs losing again. Despite the fact it was Game 7 of the World Series against the Cleveland Indians, a really good team, after coming back from a 3-1 deficit, they were still going to write the story, “The Cubs didn’t win again.’ It just goes to show you the unfair narrative the media was ready to go back to.

“That’s why it’s so important to get this behind us. We had to get past that and put that in the history of the Cubs, and not the future. We changed that dialogue, and now, it’s all a thing in the past.’’

Indeed, just one day before the start of the Major League Baseball’s owners’ meetings in Chicago on Wednesday, Ricketts and his siblings were part of a Cubs board meeting, discussing a subject never believed broached in the franchise’s history.

World Series rings.

“We haven’t figured out all of the symbolism yet,’’ says Ricketts, in his first in-depth interview since the Cubs’ World Series championship, “but there will be plenty of it. We’ll have a lot of player input and let them decide what they want.’’

And the Cubs’ wondrous 2017 plans will include outreach to Steve Bartman, the infamous fan blamed for extending their curse by reaching for a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series.

“I’m sure we’ll reach out to him at the right time,’’ Ricketts revealed, “and I’m sure we’ll figure something out that provides closure for everybody. Hopefully, we can make it work.

“But you know, I never focused on ghosts or curses or Bartmans or any of that stuff. It’s always been about needing a better team on the field. We wanted to eventually get to that point where we can pick out rings, like we did (Tuesday), and here we are.’’