It was a sports fan's wildest dream come true.
On Saturday afternoon, Sean Thompson, a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, traveled to the unfriendly confines of the Washington Nationals' home ballpark to take in Game 2 of the NLDS. When Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit a deep fly ball in the top of the fourth inning, it came right toward him. He reached for the ball and caught it, barehanded, and the Cubs took a two-run lead.
After a review it was determined that he did not reach into the field of play, mercifully avoiding Steve Bartman comparisons.
"The difference between me and Bartman," Thompson told the Chicago Tribune's David Haugh, "is I caught the ball and we’re going to win the World Series."
Bartman, a Cubs fan attending a playoff game against the Marlins in 2003, reached into the field of play, preventing outfielder Moises Alou from making the play. He was ostracized after the Cubs lost the game, and later the series. He even became the subject of an episode of ESPN's documentary series 30 for 30 called "Catching Hell."
Thompson won't face such a fate, but it doesn't mean the catch was all fun.
"Don't tell anybody, but it still hurts," he said.