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Catching Hell
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 from N/A votes
Release: 10 Jun 2011 /

Catching Hell

Genre: Documentary, Sport
Director: Alex Gibney,
Stars: ,
Synopsis: After the Chicago Cubs blow an opportunity to reach the World Series in 2003, Cubs fans blame the team's misfortune on fellow fan Steve Bartman, who interfered with a foul ball and prevented Moises Alou from making a catch.

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Critic Reviews

I was pretty familiar with both of these stories, but this two-hour special was still very good and a real eye-opener in parts, particularly on Steve Bartman.

Basically, it's a story of injustice. It's about two men, one a ballplayer in Boston and another, a fan in Chicago, and how one incident unjustly ruined their lives. The ballplayer is Bill Buckner, who let a ground ball go through his legs which contributed - not cost - to his team losing the 1986 World Series to the New York Mets. Most people have seen lots of footage of the amazing comeback of the Mets in that series and know how the media (mainly) made Buckner the scapegoat.

The bulk of this ESPN story, however, deals with Bartman, the unlucky fan who did what everyone else does at a game: reached with outstretched arms for a foul ball. In a nutshell, the Cubs - whose fans were desperate for the team's first championship since 1908 - lost the game and went on to miss the World Series. They blamed it on this fan because the Cubs left fielder, Moises Alou, made a big stink about it on the field and it would have given the Cubs two outs in the eighth inning while they were holding a 3-0 lead. If they won, they would have advanced to the world series. The opponents, the Florida Marlins, went on to score eight runs in the inning, won the next game, as they won the World Series. Who did the Cubs fans blame? The shortstop who booted an easy double-play ball in the inning? The pitchers who gave up all the runs? Nooooo. They blamed Bartman, a nerdy-looking young man who just there rooting for his beloved Cubs like everyone else.

The shocking part of the story is the behind-the-scenes footage at the game, the stuff you didn't see in this 2003 playoff game. The abuse this young guy took was unbelievable. You have to see it and hear it to believe it. It's shocking and it's disgraceful. It's a wonder he made it out alive from Wrigley Field and still lives - although in a pretty secret world - in the Chicago area.

This is one of those stories that a review here doesn't do the story justice. You have to sit and watch "Catching Hell" to get the full impact. It left me speechless.

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