Putz aids teammates with Bieber card auction
J.J. Putz's autographed Justin Bieber card -- found by chance in a pack given to him as a joke gift and resulting in a viral internet photo -- will be auctioned off on the Diamondbacks' official website, Putz announced Tuesday, with proceeds to benefit the charities of teammates Craig Breslow and Brad Ziegler.
"Given the way I obtained this card, I think the only responsible course is to donate it to charity,” Putz said. "I have the chance to raise money and awareness for two important causes.
"Besides, convincing my twin girls I was better off taking them to Justin Bieber’s Believe Tour kickoff concert on Sept. 29 in Phoenix rather than keeping the card put me in the running for Father of the Year.”
The auction is underway at www.dbacks.com/auctions and will run through July 1 at 9 p.m. Arizona time. Proceeds from the auction will be split equally between Breslow’s Strike 3 Foundation, which benefits research for pediatric cancer, and Ziegler’s Pastime For Patriots, which assists veterans and their families.
The bid was $505 at 5 pm Tuesday, just hours after the auction began.
Putz, Ziegler and Breslow also announced Tuesday that they will personally match the winning bid up to $2,500, and the D-backs Foundation also will make a matching gift up to that amount.
"The fact that we are able to do some good and he is being generous enough to donate it is something we are grateful for. He recognizes the good that can come out of it," Breslow said.
"In a perfect world, this thing sells for a million dollars. But if it only sells for 10 dollars, that is 10 more dollars than we started with. that's the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to volunteering or donating."
As explained by FOXSportsArizona.com's Jack Magruder, it all started when Ziegler went to the Panini trading card
company offices in Fort Worth, Texas, to sign an autograph contract. While touring the facility, Ziegler, a big card collector, noticed stacks of
Bieber packs among the baseball, football and hockey cards. He brought
some back to the D-backs' locker room as a way to lighten the mood, with Putz in mind, in particular.
Things got more interesting when Putz opened a
pack that contained a card with Bieber’s autograph, which appears about once in every 5,000 packs. A bit of research by Ziegler showed that a previous auction of a similar autographed card reached about $4,500.
tweeted a picture he took from his phone of Putz holding the Bieber card
and smiling broadly, and it went viral.
The D-backs have since reached out to Bieber's representatives about a visit from the pop star and his opening act, Carly Rae Jepson of "Call Me Maybe" fame, during his tour's stop in Phoenix on Sept. 29.
"It’s great that J.J.’s case of Bieber Fever has turned out to be so beneficial for Pastime for Patriots," Ziegler said. "All kidding aside, I’m very grateful that he has decided to help share the proceeds with a cause that is close to my heart and will help the families of our soldiers serving overseas."
Added Breslow, "We definitely listen to Biebs in the clubhouse and watched the viral videos for Carly Rae Jepsen’s song, but we were all genuinely surprised when J.J. got the Bieber autograph. I think it’s very noble he’s teaching his daughters the importance of giving back to others, and I’m honored he’s chosen the Strike 3 Foundation to be the beneficiary of his generosity.