Before Being Destroyed, Bartman Ball Was Insured

March 4, 2004

A combination of heat, pressure and explosives was used last week to blow to smithereens the baseball involved in a play that some Cubs fans say cost their beloved team a trip to its first World Series in 58 years.

But before the ball was destroyed in a publicity stunt covered nationally on live TV, it was insured by Salt Lake City, Utah-based excess and surplus lines carrier Prime Insurance Syndicate Inc.

Prime, whose other office is in Chicago, was contacted to expeditiously evaluate, quote and underwrite the destruction of the infamous ball, which hapless Cubs fan Steve Bartman reached up to grab as it veered into foul category in game six of last year’s National League Championship Series.

Cubs’ left-fielder Moises Alou appeared to have a good chance to make the catch, timing his leap perfectly, but just as Alou squeezed his glove to make the play, Bartman reached out to try and snag a souvenir.

Alou, the Cubs and seemingly the entire city, reacted with furor. The Marlins scored eight runs in the inning and went on to win the World Series. The ball was destroyed without a mishap, the Prime announcement noted. Prime boasts its expertise in addressing hard-to-place exposures such as recreational risks, sporting events, nursing homes and towing agencies.

The Bartman ball was taken home by a Chicago lawyer, who auctioned it off last winter to the highest bidder, which turned out to be Harry Caray’s Restaurant. The restaurant staged the event in an attempt to assuage some fans’ still festering anger and resentment.

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