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Dayton Gems Announce "Salute To Steve Bartman Night"

September 29, 2011 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Dayton Gems News Release


Dayton, Ohio - The Dayton Gems professional hockey team, proud members of the Central Hockey League, are excited to announce that the team's lone preseason exhibition game on Cassano's Italian Ice at Hara Arena will be "Salute to Steve Bartman Night" when the team hosts division rival Fort Wayne Komets on Friday, October 14 at 7pm.

In honor of Bartman, and his infamous foul ball grab which arguably set off the biggest professional sports controversy in the past decade, the Dayton Gems will salute him and his rather unfortunate distinction by offering Bartman a free ticket to the game, to be left for him at the Hara box office, to celebrate the eighth anniversary of his notoriety.

In addition, any fans dressed as Steve Bartman, complete with Cubs hat, green turtleneck and wearing headphones, will also receive one free admission to the game. Gems team president Joe Greene spearheaded the idea, noting "while our staff will be dressed like Steve, and there will be baseball and Bartman themed contests and promotions going on throughout the night, we would like to remind our fans to refrain from reaching over the glass for stray pucks." The team will also offer prizes and special recognition for the best dressed "Bartman" lookalikes in attendance.

The Steve Bartman incident occurred during a Major League Baseball playoff game between the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Marlins on October 14, 2003 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. In the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, with Chicago ahead 3-0 and holding a 3 games to 2 lead in the best of 7 series, several spectators attempted to catch a foul ball off the bat of Marlins' second baseman Luis Castillo. One of the fans, Steve Bartman, reached for the ball, disrupting a potential catch by Cubs outfielder Moisés Alou. In the aftermath of the incident, Bartman, a lifelong Cubs fan, had to be escorted from the stadium by security guards, and received police protection for a time.

"Steve was a classic case of wrong place at the wrong time, and for the eighth anniversary of his catch, we wanted to raise awareness of his situation and offer an opportunity for him to become a fan again, even if it's of Gems hockey" added Greene on the offer. "At the end of the day, whether its baseball or hockey, fans should be able to enjoy the experience in a family friendly atmosphere, and that's exactly what we provide here in Dayton."

Most recently, Bartman was the focus of an ESPN documentary which premiered this past week to much acclaim and he is now the focus of the Gems upcoming preseason exhibition game.

Tickets for those not wishing to tempt the curse of the billy goat can purchase general admission tickets to the preseason game for only $10 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and under by calling the Gems at 275-7777 or visiting www.DaytonGems.com.

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