Saturday, May 6, 2006
Sox fan pays $30K for Wiffle Ball game with Big Papi
By Darren Rovell
Drew Sawyer spends his days managing investments, but it was at night that the Boston Red Sox fan made what he thinks is one the greatest buys of his career: A game of Wiffle Ball with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
The price? $30,000.
"I evaluated it as being priceless," Sawyer said. "So we got a steal."
Sawyer said he wasn't planning on bidding on the auction item, but he and his buddies got caught up in the bidding frenzy.
"When it was over, my wife was a little bit shocked," he said.
Sawyer and two of his friends, all graduates of Harvard Business School, were the winning bidders in the auction that took place Thursday night. Ortiz donated his time to Good Sports, a Boston-based nonprofit that distributes sports equipment to community-based athletic programs in low-income, urban areas.
As part of the auction, David Littlefield -- also known as The Sausage Guy, who is famous for the meat he sells outside Fenway Park -- will come to the game. The Red Sox's cable television outlet, NESN, plans on broadcasting highlights from the game.
"I came home and told my kids that we won the auction, and they didn't believe me," Sawyer said.
The date of the game has not been determined, and neither has the back-yard location.
"We are going to pack the place and have a lot of fans," Sawyer said. "For a Red Sox fan, this is the ultimate. Kids just really identify with Big Papi."
Red Sox fans tend to pony up big bucks for auctions such as this. In December, a fan paid $16,100 to have lunch with general manager Theo Epstein.
Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at Darren.email@example.com.