Michael Fioretti doesn't just come for an autograph.
When White Sox pitcher John Danks stopped at Bettenhausen Chrysler Jeep in Orland Park last weekend, Fioretti stocked up on signed items. But not for his personal collection.
Fioretti and his friends, who put together the Crosstown Classic Crawl, attend free signings with White Sox and Cubs players to collect as many autographed items as they can to later raffle off at the bar crawl, with all proceeds benefitting the Make a Wish Foundation.
Last year, the event raised enough money to send a boy to Cincinnati and spend a day with the Cincinnati Reds.
"It's more than just the autograph," Fioretti said. "It's about making kids' wishes come true."
Fioretti, of Lombard, was among 350 people who braved the rain on Sept. 11 to meet Danks at the dealership. Fans young and old received autographs from the pitcher and even snuck in a few photos.
While the Orland Park car dealership may seem an unlikely place for a diehard White Sox fan gathering, Bettenhausen Chrysler Jeep Manager Matt Higgins was proud to host the event.
"We promote events year round in order to give our customers and the community a reason to come in and visit," Higgins said. "We were very excited when we were approached to hold the Danks signing."
Danks said he is always excited to interact with fans.
"It's really fun to see how passionate they are," Danks said. "It gives us that
something extra to want to win."
Danks stayed for about 90 minutes signing autographs and greeting fans. While it was originally announced that autographs would be limited to the first 300 people, every fan received a signature from the pitcher.