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Jim Leyritz Selling Autographs, Pride for Legal Fund

Whatever comes of the DUI manslaughter case against Jim Leyritz, there's no doubting he's been humbled by the experience. This past weekend, the former Yankees catcher, who stands accused of killing a motorist while driving drunk in Fort Lauderdale, was barred from an on-field celebration of the 1996 team on which he provided the most dramatic, most heroic moment -- the home run in Game 4 to beat the Braves.

Yet from the sounds of it, Leyritz was just happy to be able to still make a buck selling his signature to Yankees fans at a table outside the park. From an article in the New York Times:

A star of the 1996 World Series, he charged $25 for an autographed picture, $35 for an autographed ball and $5 to have a photograph taken with him. He said he had difficulty finding work since the arrest, and selling autographs for two hours before the game was vital.

"I need the money to be able to pay the rent and take care of my children," he said. "Whatever I can do to make money, that's what I'm doing."

From another article in Newsday:
When asked if it was difficult for him to go from pinstriped legend to paying customer, Leyritz shrugged. "Well, yeah," he said. "I mean a part of that stadium, I feel I had a lot to do with, and that's the tough part. But you know what, compared to what I'm going through personally, and everything else, that's a small thing.

"What happened with me, I'm still looking for the reason. But in the long run, I think I can say things have taken a different step in my life. I'm able to prioritize a little bit differently. That's why I'm here, because I was offered an opportunity to make a little bit of money. I've got to do whatever I can."

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Thomas Francis

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