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Fan who caught 3,000: 'Mr. Jeter deserved it'

Posted on: July 9, 2011 7:15 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2011 7:29 pm
 
NEW YORK -- As they were being whisked away by Yankees security, Raul Lopez turned to his 23-year-old son Christian.

"All I said is, 'The ball is worth some money. What do you want to do?'" Raul Lopez said later.

Here's what Christian Lopez wanted to do: He wanted to give the 3,000-hit ball right back to Derek Jeter.

"I mean, Mr. Jeter deserved it," Lopez said. "Money's cool and all, but I'm only 23 years old, and I have time to make it."

He's 23 years old, a one-time defensive lineman from St. Lawrence University, who lives in Highland Mills, N.Y., about an hour north of Yankee Stadium. He still has student loans to pay off. He's headed to graduate school (although Verizon, his current employer, will pay for that).

But he's also a huge Yankee fan -- his license plates honor Babe Ruth, his favorite player -- and he felt strongly that giving the ball back to Jeter was the right thing to do.

"That's who he is," Raul Lopez said proudly. "My son would get $1 million and shrug his shoulders."

They got the tickets for Saturday as a birthday present to Christian from his girlfriend. They were sitting in left field, and when Jeter hit his third-inning home run, the ball came right to them.

Raul Lopez was actually the one with the first chance to catch it, but he couldn't hold it ("My dad has awful hands," his son joked). It rolled to Christian Lopez, and he covered it.

"I've recovered a few fumbles," he said.

He told Yankee security he wanted to meet Jeter. They gave him front-row seats for Sunday's game, four suite-level season tickets for the remainder of the season (and postseason), and three Jeter-signed bats, three Jeter-signed balls and two Jeter-signed jerseys.

And he was thrilled.

His dad was . . . proud.

Raul Lopez first said he would have done the same thing. But he also said he had told Christian, "If you were still in school, you wouldn't be giving that ball away."


Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2012 12:16 pm
 

Fan who caught 3,000: 'Mr. Jeter deserved it'

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 12:36 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 10:16 am
 

Fan who caught 3,000: 'Mr. Jeter deserved it'

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 7:16 am
 

Fan who caught 3,000: 'Mr. Jeter deserved it'

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:29 am
 

Fan who caught 3,000: 'Mr. Jeter deserved it'




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 2:30 am
 

Fan who caught 3,000: 'Mr. Jeter deserved it'

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Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 21, 2011 7:59 pm
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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 6:39 am
 

Fan who caught 3,000: 'Mr. Jeter deserved it'

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Since: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2011 12:14 pm
 

Fan who caught 3,000: 'Mr. Jeter deserved it'

Idiot. I would have let the market determine what is worth and given Jeter first opportunity to pay that. There's no "honorable" thing to do. You caught it fair and square, and MLB says it is your ball, not the hitter's.



Since: Feb 4, 2011
Posted on: July 10, 2011 7:40 pm
 

Fan who caught 3,000: 'Mr. Jeter deserved it'

A class act by both parties. Derek Jeter has shown class all his career and it is great to see a fan that appreciates him enough to give him the ball.

A class act by Christian Lopez as well and it is great to see that someone puts more value into doing the "right thing" over a monetary reward. I commend his parents for bringing him up with values. Too many people these days can only see dollar signs. It is great for the Yankees and Derek Jeter to recognize Christian for what he has done.


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