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Marcus Lemonis donates front-row World Series tickets to 97-year-old WWII vet

Host of CNBC's "The Profit" Marcus Lemonis was struggling to find the perfect baseball fan to send to the World Series. After stumbling upon the story of 97-year-old World War II veteran Jim Schlegel, he knew he had found his man.

Schlegel, like all Cubs fans, had to wait 71 years to see his team make it back to the World Series, but unlike most, he was actually at Chicago's Wrigley Field to experience it the last time around in 1945. A box seat ticket then cost $7.50, according to NBC5 Chicago.

But with overwhelming demand for the chance to see the Chicago Cubs win their first World Series in over a century sending ticket prices as high as $21,100 on the secondary market according to ticket aggregator Seat Geek, Schlegel had all but given up on the idea he'd be able to go. To help, his granddaughter set up a GoFundMe post with the goal of raising $10,000 for two tickets to the game and hoped for the best.

Enter Marcus Lemonis.

World War II veteran 97-year-old Jim Schlegel last watched his Cubs play in the World Series in 1945, but a donation from CNBC’s Marcus Lemonis is getting him to Wrigley Field this time around.
Source: Helen Schlegel
World War II veteran 97-year-old Jim Schlegel last watched his Cubs play in the World Series in 1945, but a donation from CNBC’s Marcus Lemonis is getting him to Wrigley Field this time around.

Lemonis got in touch with the family and offered two front-row tickets to Game Three at Wrigley Field, where Schlegel could potentially see his Cubs come close to clinching the Series for the first time since 1908.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe post Schlegel's granddaughter initially set up had raised over $11,000. But after Lemonis offered to donate two tickets, the family said it plans to donate the funds to the Purple Heart Foundation instead.

Donning a Cubs cap, Schlegel took to Twitter to thank Lemonis. "I appreciate your generosity, and hope we bring in a winner," he said, adding that he'll be taking his son to the game with him.