Spoiler Cubs Fan Offered $25K for Autograph
Will man, a recluse since curse-prolonging 2003 foul-ball incident, emerge for bounty?
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2008 4:54 PM CDT
Moises Alou reaches into the stands unsuccessfully for a foul ball tipped by fan Steve Bartman against the Florida Marlins.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

(Newser) – Will Steve Bartman—the fan blamed for costing the long-suffering Chicago Cubs a trip to the 2003 World Series—come out of hiding for $25,000? A pair of sports memorabilia outfits are offering the bounty, the Orlando Sentinel reports, if Bartman shows up at a July 31 convention in suburban Chicago and autographs a single copy of a photo showing him reaching for a key foul ball.

"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 a convention official. "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 convention] and to a destination of his choosing.”