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Chew on This: More Gumgate

April 11, 2002|From Associated Press

Luis Gonzalez apparently won't have to give DNA samples after all. No more gumshoe detective work will be necessary.

The Arizona Diamondback All-Star reportedly has decided to end any controversy over the legitimacy of a piece of already-been-chewed-by-Gonzo gum being sold at auction on the Internet.

Gonzalez said he would chew a new piece of gum while on a Tucson radio program via telephone this morning, according to Johnjay of the "Johnjay and Rich" show on station KRQ.

Gonzalez will then place the new gum in an envelope and ship it either to the collector of the original gum, Jason Gabbert, or to the high school that is to get the proceeds from the Internet bidding, Johnjay said.

The highest bid so far is $3,275 by Dave Pierce, a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. That edged out the $3,200 bid by The Topps Co., which manufactured the gum Gonzalez allegedly chewed.

A public chew by Gonzalez on the radio show where he often has appeared would bring an end to a bizarre tale that features characters right out of a Bazooka bubble gum comic. They include Johnjay the DJ, Ponytail John the security guard, Tom Vigilante, the security company owner, and, of course, Gonzo.

The gum's authenticity was called into question when Vigilante, who owns Vigilante Security Services of Phoenix, said he had an affidavit signed by Ponytail John denying that he had given Gabbert the gum at a spring training game in Tucson on March 7.

In fact, Ponytail John, whose last name Vigilante declined to give, said he saw Gabbert pick up another piece of gum and say "this will do."

Gabbert, who owns a memorabilia store, in Wood Lake, Minn., said the security guard is lying. Gabbert said he believes the security company is just worried about losing its contract at Tucson Electric Park, spring training home of the Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox.

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