Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has had a slightly off-par season, and maybe now the reason is coming to light. Perhaps he's been feeling guilty about not signing his name as much as he should.
Steiner Sports, a memorabillia company is suing Ortiz for $1 million, claiming that he breached his contract by failing to sign the required number of items and not appearing at enough "meet-and-great" events. He was supposed to sign 13,000 items for the company, and maintain exclusivity through the beginning of 2008.
“Ortiz has constantly remained substantially below the amount of memorabilia items required to be signed under the agreement,” according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court.I couldn't imagine signing my name 13,000 times, let alone making them constantly resemble each other. But I suppose I could imagine getting paid to do it.
Steiner claims that Ortiz skipped several scheduled public appearances, and when he did show up, he didn’t autograph the minimum amount of memorabilia required by the contract.
Aside from the interesting window into the sports memorabillia world, it's surprising to see the rather small amount that Steiner is asking for. It suggests that perhaps Big Papi's value isn't all that high. If you take a look at his section on Steiner Sports' website (yes, they're suing, but they've still got to sell his stuff) you can see that aside from a few of the rarer items like a signed game-used base or uniform, the prices aren't all that expensive. Ortiz had better sign more balls for the company, and hit more home runs as well. That will keep his price up.
I'm guessing that with price Steiner is asking, Ortiz and the company will work their differences out, and he'll be signing the right amount of balls pretty soon.