In what would have been ultimately a stroke of genius, the creators of the brilliant new commercial for MLB 12: The Show told the Chicago Tribune in an email that they originally considered asking Cubs Public Enemy No. 1, Steve Bartman, to play a role in the ad. The trailer plays out a dreamlike scenario where the Cubbies finally reach baseball’s promised land and win a World Series and closes with a Cubs fan playing the video game.
In the end, the creators opted to go a different direction:
Jason Elm, group creative director of the Deutsch Los Angeles agency, said they “did kick around the idea of using the real Steve Bartman as the gamer at the end,” but ultimately decided against it.
“While that would have been a real mind-blower, it would have made the whole spot about a Bartman gag, rather than being about the true emotion of living out your baseball dreams with our game,” Elm explained.
While it is true that the presence of Bartman in the commercial would have somewhat detracted from the overall theme of the ad, the odds of actually convincing Bartman to take part would have been something of a miracle — if they could have even tracked him down — in light of the fact the guy has essentially gone into hiding since the infamous day when he was cast in a white-hot spotlight during Game 6 of the NLCS in 2003 and the cruel fate he suffered afterward following his impulsive reach over the railing.
But man, that most certainly would have been something to see. And perhaps it could have served as a much-needed first step in Bartman’s ultimate reconciliation with his fellow Cubs fans and the city of Chicago.