Notorious Cubs fan provides costume idea

Searching for a scary Mr. October costume? Join the ranks of Steven Bartman lookalikes roaming the streets and looking for foul balls -- or treats -- this Halloween.

Replicating the outfit of the Chicago fan who gained instant noriety of Game 6 of the NLCS isn't difficult. Bartman had on a Cubs hat, blue jeans, headphones and a sweatshirt with the logo of the Renegades traveling youth baseball team when he tried to catch a foul and knocked the ball away from left fielder Moises Alou.

Last week, according the Knight Ridder News Services, the renegadesbaseball.com Web site promoted the sweatshirts ($35, plus $6 for shipping) from its home page, then stated: "Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery. We will do our best to have all orders filled and shipped out in time for Halloween."

The words "in time for Halloween" were removed from the site and replaced with "by Monday," when a Knight Ridder reporter tried to contact the site.

Adam Lisberg a former Chicago resident, went online to try to buy one of the shirts.

"I'm sure in Chicago there will be 38 people at every party going as Steven Bartman," Lisberg, 33, told Knight Ridder. "But in New York, there's a chance I'll be the only one."

"It's relatively easy to do," he said. "I already own blue jeans and a Cubs hat and headphones and a baseball. All I need is the sweatshirt."

Bartman coached one of the Renegades teams, consisting of 13- and 14-year-old boys.

Coaches and players defended Bartman as a devout Cubs fan, devoted coach and all-around good guy.

Yet, "I think it's hilarious," one former coach, Tom Zipp of Park Ridge, told Knight Ridder. "He's just a real good kid, a real quiet kid. It's just so odd that he was put in that situation."

Others were uneasy.

"If they're taking orders, that's news to me," Roger Shimanovsky said to Knight Ridder. His son, Matt, 15, formerly played for the Renegades.

"The Web site crashed last week," Shimanovsky said. "He [the webmaster] was probably getting deluged with calls.
"It's a revenue producer for the organization. But to be doing it at the expense of Steve, I don't agree with it."

Bob Ugel, who coordinates the Renegades information, could not be reached by Knight Ridder. Neither could Bartman.