Monday, July 11, 2011

Classy fan is Jeter-worthy


On Saturday, July 9, 2011, Derek Jeter got his 3,000th hit as a major league ball player - a feat that will surely secure his place in the Hall of Fame (on the first ballot, natch). His hit? A home run (he's only the second player to do that - Wade Boggs was the first). He went on to go 5 for 5 on the day, even hitting in the winning run.

Like I said - a-maz-ing.

One of the first things I thought (in my car, with my phone buzzing) was, what will happen to the ball?

Most people would see a payday. After all - if you catch a ball that flies into the stands, it's yours. So, the person who caught this ball had every right to leave the stadium and keep the ball for himself, or put it up on ebay, or lock it in a safe deposit box.

But he didn't do any of that. Instead, Christian Lopez told security personnel that all he wanted was to give the ball to Jeter.

"He deserves this; he worked hard for it."  
This seriously cool guy ended up meeting Jeter; he was also given some autographed merchandise and luxury box tickets by the Yankees. So he made out pretty well. Could he have gotten more? Sure. He could have named his price and maybe Jeter would have paid it. The thing is - who does that? Who looks at someone else's achievment and sees only what could be in it for him?

Not a real fan; not Christian Lopez. He saw the chance to create a memory for a lifetime, and the chance to do the right thing, no matter what. 

That's class. It's class even worthy of Jeter.


  1. Jeter's been compensated for his hard work to the tune of $212,930,000 (pretending the season's exactly half over), plus $43,500,000 more guaranteed, plus endorsements, plus Minka Kelly. That's $70,882.16-plus per hit. ($51,531.95 per time on base.) And that's all fine - we live in a capitalistic country, and that's what the market has determined his value to be.

    Meanwhile, the kid's $100,000 in debt. Given his current profession, it will take him 30 years to pay that off, if he ever does. (It would take Jeter less than 10 innings.)

    The right thing? Give Jeter first shot at it at fair market value. He gets the ball for an amount that's like $25 to you and me, and the kid doesn't screw over himself and his future family. Everybody wins, and to a greater total benefit to the universe than just handing it over.

  2. Have to disagree with you. Jeter's compensation is irrelevant. That's between him and the Tankers, Steiner, Ford, etc. He was getting the majority of that whether he ever made it to 3,000 hits or not.

    The ball means something to Jeter; it's just a meal-ticket to anyone else. And it really shouldn't matter if the fan who caught the ball is $100,000 in debt or makes that in a day. His debt is not Jeter's fault, or responsibility.

    From where I sit, the right thing isn't to extort money from someone because you happen to be in possession of something he wants. Especially when it's something he earned.

    That said - we're talking about what the guy asked for - not what Jeter might have done off the record.

    And I'm not a huge Minka Kelly fan - no shock there - but no woman is "compensation" for anything.