SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Cubs VP gives inside view of Bartman getting a ring
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Ring of honor . . .
It was a priceless moment 14 years in the making.
You should have been there.
So Sneed talked to someone who was there: Julian Green, Cubs vice president of communications for business operations, who was present when beleaguered fan Steve Bartman was awarded a 2016 World Series Championship ring.
“It was so special,” Green told Sneed.
“I felt the gift represented an emotional breakthrough. To see his response. And his appreciation,” Green said. “Amazing.”
So did the Cubs require Bartman to sign a waiver not to sell the ring for over $1 like they did for other top-tier championship ring recipients?
“No, we did not,” said Green.
“I truly, honestly believe he [Bartman] would never want to do that.
“The ring was symbolic. It represented a form of closure. The closure of a sore. A hurt that had harmed him and his family for years.
“If you had been there to watch his response, you’d know what I mean. It was genuine. He was genuine.”
Out of all the 2016 World Series Championship rings, the most valuable one in the non-player secondary market is the one inscribed “Bartman.”
The ring was intended to heal a wound, the end of the latest bead in a rosary of Cubs curses and shenanigans involving a foul ball at Wrigley Field that made sports headlines worldwide in 2003.
There is speculation the Bartman ring will now have the greatest value on the secondary market.
Steve Grad, a sports memorabilia expert best known as “the guy from Pawn Stars” on the History Channel show, tells Sneed.
“Other than the top five Cubs players like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, etc., whose rings could sell for $250,000, Bartman’s ring could also bring in the neighborhood of that much money.
“For Bartman, it was like the Cubs backed up a truck and poured out liquid gold.
“Bartman was not famous, but he became infamous,” said Grad.
“I don’t think Bartman will walk around the field with all that bling on his finger. And I may be a White Sox fan . . . but I’m really happy the Cubs won last year and it ended this way for Bartman.”
Top tip . . .
News that stellar Chicago attorney John R. Lausch Jr. — who was nominated Thursday as U.S. attorney for the northern district of Illinois — was a contender for the spot, replacing Zachary Fardon, was first tipped in Sneed’s column March 12.
Getting the 12th Degree?
Dateline: The indoctrination line.
A top, top GOP politico tells Sneed Republican state legislators are being indoctrinated with far-right ideology since the state budget limped into passage recently.
• Translation: “They are being called in to meet individually with the staff of the uber-conservative Illinois Policy Institute for questioning and/or indoctrination on its far-right ideology — now that Governor Bruce Rauner has moved many of its staff, including his new chief of staff, Kristina Rasmussen, from the institute’s office into the actual office of the governor,” the source tells Sneed.
15 seconds of fame . . .
Fans who follow Lolla on Facebook, Twitter, Instragram or Snapchat and tag the music fest in their posts using @lollapalooza and #lolla had a chance to see their posts on Jumbotrons throughout Grant Park.
And, if you caught yourself on one of the stage Jumbotrons and want to share the moment with all your friends, you can register with your selfie in the app to have your Lolla moment of fame sent straight to you.
He’s a Dickens!
It was time for an 80th birthday toast Thursday to Albert Dickens, the Sun-Times’ legendary “everyman” who has seen a lot of “regimes and changes” in his 47 years at the paper, said Chicago Sun-Times Publisher Jim Kirk.
Praising Dickens as the best-dressed person in the newsroom, Sports Editor Chris De Luca said he had a hard time describing Dickens’ job profile because “he does everything. If Albert wanted to leave, well, I would never let him leave.” In keeping with his quiet and dignified manner, Dickens then proffered the following advice: “Never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time.”
I spy . . .
Rock legend Rod Stewart having lunch Thursday at Rosebud on Rush. . . . Chris “Hamilton” Lee spotted Wednesday night at the opening of new Japanese restaurant Katana, in River North. Ditto for former Bull Jimmy Butler, former NFL quarterback Tony Romo, rapper Bow Wow, “Empire” actors Serayah McNeill and Andre Bellos, film director Spike “Chi-Raq” Lee and “Chicago Fire” stars Christian Stolte and Eamonn Walker. . . . Former Detroit Piston Bill Laimbeer spotted Saturday night at Harry Caray’s in Rosemont. . . . Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera having lunch Monday at Harry Caray’s Water Tower Place.
Sneedlings . . .
Sneed is told congrats are in order for Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Chairman Kirk Dillard, who will be awarded the American Public Transportation Association’s “Best of the Best” Distinguished Service Award at its upcoming annual meeting in Atlanta. Dillard was selected from among 1,500 public transportation systems worldwide. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Jesse Williams, 36; Juan Pablo Galavis, 36; and DeRay Davis, 49. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: David Robinson, 52; Geri Halliwell, 45; and Amanda Letrich, priceless.