Sportress of Blogitude

Ben Roethlisberger replaces fake autographed football for patient, doctor

Ben Roethlisberger recently made things right after learning an autographed football a Minnesota doctor gave a young patient was fake by providing both of them with authentic autographed footballs.

Dr. John Stulak of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., gave Seth Bayles, who has a rare autoimmune disease, an autographed football in August believed to have been signed by Roethlisberger. Both Stulak and Bayles are huge Pittsburgh Steelers fans.

The story of the doctor’s gift of memorabilia to his young patient circulated online, where it was noticed by Roethlisberger’s social media coordinator, who reached out to KAAL-TV to indicate the autograph was not authentic.

Roethlisberger later sent a FaceTime video to Bayles and Stulak.

“I saw your guys’ video online, Dr. Stu, how you gave the football to Seth. I thought that was really, really cool, but something caught me off guard, that the autograph wasn’t mine,” Roethlisberger said in the video. “So I wanted to send you guys a video to just let you know that I appreciate your guys’ support and, Seth, why don’t you check with your mom. She might have something for you, and you too, Doc.

“So I just wanted to send you a video just to let you know that I appreciate you guy’s support. And Seth why don’t you check with your mom? She might have something for you … and you too, Doc. And Doc, thanks for all you do. You’re a true hero. Seth, keep up the good fight brother. Pulling for you, praying for you and thanks for your support. Alright pal, talk to you later.”

Bayles’ mother, Julie, then presented the two Steelers diehards with footballs autographed by Roethlisberger. The first football was signed “Seth – You are the MAN!” with the other bearing the message, “Dr. Stulak you are a real hero!”

“This is unbelievable,” Bayles said of Big Ben’s generous gesture. “It is just awesome! Yeah, I can’t begin to tell you how amazing and cool this is.”