A Doctor visit; catching 'The Bus'

"Dr. J" -- Julius Erving-- signs autographs at the Safe-Guard Products display. Photo credit: DAVE VERSICAL

Sports fans had a tough choice to make Saturday afternoon at the NADA exhibition hall. They could stand in line to get an autograph from Dr J -- former NBA star Julius Erving -- or from retired Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis.

Dr. J, looking dapper in a pin-striped suit, was at the Safe-Guard Products booth and is scheduled to be back Sunday. Bettis was at TD Dominion. He wore a black golf shirt with an over-sized Polo logo and a stylized black Detroit Tigers baseball cap with a black old-English D logo.

"I was born and raised in Detroit," said Bettis, who boasts that he is still a Tigers fan despite his years in Pittsburgh.

And as for the $214 million, 9-year contract that brought Prince Fielder to Detroit: "Wow, that's big," said Bettis. "Expensive, but big."

You can reach Edward Lapham at elapham@crain.com