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Would You Have Sold The Ball From Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit?

Michael Heiman, Getty Images

I don’t know what was a bigger story – Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit being a homerun or the fact that a 23-year-old dude named Christian Lopez just gave the ball back to the Yankees and didn’t want anything in return.

What on earth was this guy thinking?

If I caught the ball on Derek Jeter 3000th hit, I would have sold it! This isn’t even one I have to think about.

It’s a classic case of silly fandom getting in the way of smart decision-making.

Lopez was caught up in the moment. He wanted to meet Derek Jeter.  He wasn’t thinking about the long-term ramifications of this decision. He caught the ball, the Yankees PR people swept him off his feet and then he gave the ball to the Yankees.

This ball would have been worth between $500,000 to $1 million dollars on the open market in an auction.  Bonds’ 73rd homerun ball sold for $752K.

I’ve got bills to pay: mortgage, raising a kid, buying stuff. Living.  This guy has a student loan of nearly $100,000.  ¾ of a million dollars will do a lot for that.  Keep the ball and auction it off.

If I caught that ball, I’d be using my T-Mobile phone and the eBay app to start the auction right then and there.  The stress of owning the ball would have been gone before the game was even over.

If you feel weird about making money on the ball off an auction, sell it and then donate all the money to charity.  If you feel weird about selling it instead of giving it to the Yankees, auction it off and give the Yankees right of first refusal.  If you feel weird about making money off of this, guess what? You can use some of that money to pay for therapy!

Nick Laham, Getty Images

Please don’t talk about nice the Yankees were to Lopez for returning the ball.  They Yanks gave him 4 tickets in the Champions Suite for the remaining 32 home games have a face value of around $45k.  They also threw in some Derek Jeter autographed bats and jerseys and autographed baseballs.  So the fan got merchandise valued somewhere around $50,000.  Fifty-thousand dollars?  Are you serious?

I’d actually argue it was less since the seats in the suite weren’t sold – they were being used by the club as comps.  You figure that guy and his friends are going to spend money while they’re at the game. So in essence, the Yankees made money on that guy.

The Yanks were glad this guy didn’t take his ball to the people and let them decide the value of the baseball.  Remember, the ball is worth whatever one person is willing to pay for it.  Someone would have paid for this ball - a lot!

It would be like someone winning the the lottery and then giving the money to Donald Trump.  Not giving it to a charity or someone less fortunate - but to a guy that really doesn’t need it.   Jeter and the Yankees didn’t need the 3000th hit ball. They’ve been making money on Jeter 3K for months by selling t-shirts, hats, bats, baseballs, beach towels, condoms, ketchup and ink pens.  I still don’t know what this guy was thinking.  More power to him – it’s not something I would have EVER done!

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