CHICAGO — Grant DePorter, the man who bought the infamous Bartman Ball and blew it up on live TV, is now the proud owner of the stitches that held the right cheek of the Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw together during the Stanley Cup title run.
DePorter, the CEO of Harry Caray Restaurant Group and a renowned showman when it comes to famous Chicago collectibles, ponied up $6,500 for Shaw's stitches, which the player put up for auction to benefit the V Foundation.
"A lot of people thought i would go after Andrew Shaw's Stitches and they were right," DePorter said on Facebook Sunday night. "The Ebay Auction just ended and I won.
"I spent 8 months going after the 2010 Stanley Cup missing puck but could not get it in the end. I could not let this pass by too. In the end the stitches went for $6,500. I will put them at Harry Caray's at Navy Pier when the arrive. The money went to a great cause the V Foundation."
DePorter is always in the mix when a collector's item from a local sports event goes up for auction. He made his bones by buying the ball that Cubs fan Steve Bartman deflected away from Moises Alou in the 2003 National League Championship Series for $114,000.
He then erected a tent outside Harry Caray's restaurant Downtown, put the "Foul Ball" in a plexiglass box and blew it up using extreme pressure.
His latest acquisition was an ever-present reminder of Shaw's toughness during the Stanley Cup Final, a row of sutures stitched into Shaw after he took a puck to the face.
Joel Alpert, owner of AM Sports Marketing Group in Lake Forest, approached Shaw immediately after Game 6 and suggested he save his stitches to potentially use them in a charity auction. The stitches were removed from Shaw's face after four or five days, Alpert said.
"Andrew expressed an interest in raising money for breast cancer research, and The V Foundation promised the donation would be directed to breast cancer research grants," Alpert said.
Darlene Shaw said her son frequently donates to cancer charities because, in part, she was diagnosed with breast cancer last October. Darlene Shaw said the cancer has been removed.
"It was a shock for all four of the kids as it was for my husband," she said. "But everything is good now."
Shaw scored the winning goal in triple overtime of Game 1 against the Bruins, then famously dropped an F-bomb on national TV. He recently celebrated with family and friends by bringing the Stanley Cup to Belleville.