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Fans Encourage Steve Bartman to Accept $25,000 Autograph Offer

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Applauds Chance to Make a Difference

ROSEMONT, Ill., July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Organizers for the 29th National Sports Collectors Convention confirmed today that the $25,000 offer to Steve Bartman to sign one autograph stands and, based on overwhelmingly favorable online polls, the public says he should appear.

The convention is scheduled for July 30 - August 3 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

The Bartman signing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, July 31, in the Tristar Autograph Pavilion inside the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

Show organizers and (formerly, a Sports Online Sales & Auction firm, have offered Bartman $25,000 to attend the annual collectibles convention to sign one autograph.

"The response from the public to our offer was incredible, so much more overwhelmingly positive, in support of Steve showing up, than we ever could have imagined," said Mike Berkus, co-Executive Director of The National.

"In one online survey, over 70 percent of the public encouraged Bartman to accept the $25,000 offer."

The photograph that organizers want Bartman to sign is from Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series against the Florida Marlins. Once signed, the photo would be auctioned by to the general public with net proceeds being donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

"JDRF is committed to raising critical funds to support the ground-breaking research that will allow us to fulfill our mission to find a cure for type 1 diabetes," said JDRF Illinois Chapter Executive Director Patrick Reedy. "The support of baseball fans and everyone in the Chicago community is greatly appreciated. If Steve Bartman were to accept this invitation, it would be a great gesture of goodwill and a one-of-a-kind opportunity in support of the children, adults and families living with type 1 diabetes every day."

In addition, all fans and collectors who attend the 29th National on Thursday and make a donation to JDRF in support of Steve Bartman will be entered into a drawing for a Meet & Greet with former Chicago Cubs player/Baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg on Friday at the 29th National.

The photo, once signed by Steve Bartman, likely would sell for a minimum of $100,000, Berkus said.

SOURCE 29th National Sports Collectors Convention
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