Football fans came from near and far for a chance to meet Ballwin native and probable first round NFL draft pick Blaine Gabbert on Saturday. Gabbert, the Parkway West grad and former Mizzou star was at Auction Merchandise Servicein Chesterfield to sign autographs, raise money for Parkway West Football Boosters and meet his fans.
The first person in line, Chris Kortum of Ballwin, said he arrived about two hours before the event began at 3 p.m. He had a football and a photo signed by Gabbert.
Greg Reynolds of Granite City also arrived about two hours before the event started. “I'm a huge Mizzou fan and I wanted to make sure that I was able to meet him and get his autograph,” Reynolds said.
As Gabbert signed autographs for the crowd of about 100, he was happy to chat with his fans. A few asked Gabbert to sign his name and inscribe 'first round draft pic 2011.'
“I hope you don't jinx me,” Gabbert said.
Gabbert's recent rise to stardom didn't seem to affect him as he posed for pictures with fans and answered any question they posed.
“All the attention is fun, really fun, but I feel like the same guy from Ballwin that I have always been,” he said as the one-hour session wrapped up, and he headed off to do television interviews.