Consumed Cubs fans to consume Bartman ball

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

CHICAGO -- Blowing the "Bartman ball" to smithereens last year didn't help the Chicago Cubs win a World Series. Maybe eating the smithereens will.

A Chicago restaurant has cooked up a new promotional scheme involving what's left of the infamous foul ball that deflected off Cubs fan Steve Bartman during Game 6 of the National League Championship Series in 2003. The Cubs lost a sure out and their cool from the play, subsequently giving up eight runs and the lead as they blew a chance to reach the World Series for the first time since 1945.

A year ago, after buying the ball at auction for $113,824, Harry Caray's Restaurant had a Hollywood special-effects expert detonate it on live TV.

In the marketing sequel, Harry Caray's said Tuesday it intends to soak the ball's remnants in Budweiser and combine them with other ingredients into a "curse-ending sauce." The sauce will be poured over spaghetti and served to willing Cubs fans next week at its locations in Chicago and suburban Rosemont, Ill.

"At the urging of faithful Cubs fans, Harry Caray's will try once again to use the power of the ball to generate positive energy for the Cubs," said Grant DePorter, managing partner of Harry Caray's Restaurant group.

He said the stunt was inspired by two separate fan suggestions a year ago when the restaurant received 20,000 letters from people with ideas on how to destroy the ball.

The sauce will be served for four days ending Feb. 24 when the restaurant stages its annual worldwide toast to Caray, the longtime Cubs broadcaster who died Feb. 18, 1998.

Proceeds will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in honor of ex-Cubs great Ron Santo.


On the Net:

Caray toast information at www.toast.citysearch.com

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