PHOENIX (AP) -- The price shot up on a piece of used gum when the manufacturer got into the spirit of raising money for a rural Minnesota high school.
New York-based The Topps Co. bid $3,200 Monday on the gum that Arizona Diamondbacks slugger Luis Gonzalez chewed and discarded at a spring baseball game in Tucson, Ariz., last month.
"We just thought it was kind of a fun thing that somebody actually took that bubble gum and is selling it for charity," said Topps Vice President Warren Friss.
Jason Gabbert, who owns Lakeside Sports of Wood Lake, Minn., said he attended the March 7 game and talked a security guard into retrieving the wad that Gonzalez threw away behind first base after singling against Oakland.
Gabbert encased the gum in a plastic cube and is offering it for sale to fund scholarships and boost athletics at Lakeview High, a school of about 200 students near Wood Lake.
Friss made the offer during a talk show on KRQ Radio in Tucson. The price is 160 times higher now than it was before morning show host Johnjay Van Es got Gabbert and Gonzalez on the air Wednesday.
Gabbert said the promotion took off when people realized the money was for youngsters.
"As a baseball collectible, it's just gum," he said. "But the fact of the matter is it's now very famous gum, and that's what people want -- not because it has some significant value. Nobody is buying this gum for its intrinsic value. People are having fun for a good cause, and when you get those two together, you're going to raise a lot of money."
The top offer going into the weekend was $600. Gabbert said a private investor from Phoenix considered bidding $3,000, but had already offered $1,100 for baseballs bearing the signatures of Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling, infielder Craig Counsell and Gonzalez.
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