Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cubs Fan Steve Bartman Offered $25K If He Signs Just One Autograph

Steve Bartman, for those not familiar with Cubs history, is the fan who reached out for a foul ball during the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, a ball that could have been caught for an out by left fielder Moises Alou. Bartman, instead, deflected the ball by reaching out. The Cubs then choked and blew a 3-0 lead, lost the game and their chances at going to the World Series vanished with a Game 7 loss to the Florida Marlins.

To collect the cash, all Bartman has to do is show up at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., at 1 p.m. on July 31, prove his identity and sign a photograph of the infamous play. It will then be auctioned on the Web site with the proceeds going to a Chicago-based charity, according to a news release for the event.

"No one in sports memorabilia history has ever been paid $25,000 to sign one autograph — not Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, or any other athlete,” said Mike Berkus, co-Executive Director of The National. "Steve Bartman has been a recluse for years, but we’re hopeful that he will accept our invitation and generous offer to appear ... We have personal security to provide to Steve at The National and to a destination of his choosing.”

Big League Stew writes:

It's an ingenious marketing plan, really, because I'm sure the organizers know they're dealing with probably the only man on Earth who wouldn't simply sign his name and then collect $25K. In the almost five years since his name became synonymous with the Billy Goat curse, Bartman has turned down every single interview request that has come his way and no doubt also said no to numerous book-TV-movie deals that were worth much, much more than what a bunch of baseball card dealers are offering here.

What's worth noting, though, is just how much attention just the mention of Bartman's name in a press release can draw.

No comments:

Post a Comment