Saturday, July 9, 2011

Yankees Fan Well-Rewarded After Giving Back Jeter's 3,000th Hit Ball

Christian Lopez went to the Yankees game on Saturday to watch history. He never expected to actually catch it.

When Derek Jeter hit a home run into the left center field stands in the third inning for his historic 3,000th hit, Lopez was in the right place at the right time.
"I was taking a picture, and next thing you know I look in the air," Lopez said. "My dad dove and missed it, because he has awful hands. I saw it roll in front of me, so I jumped on it. It was just instinct. I thought 'Wow! This is it! This is my chance!'"
After the resultant mob scene when he caught the ball, Lopez and his dad were taken to a private area by security where members of the Yankees organization were there to meet them.

When asked what he would like in return for the ball, the 23 year-old Lopez just shook his head and handed it over, asking for nothing in return.
"Mr. Jeter deserved it. I'm not going to take it away from him. Yeah, money is cool and all, but I'm only 23 years old. I have a lot of time to make that. It's a milestone. Only 27 other people have done this. It's not an everyday thing, and he deserves every second of it. He's worked so hard for 15 years or so."
However, the Yankees did handsomely reward him for his selflessness.  He is receiving four suite tickets to every home game the rest of the season including the playoffs, front-row seats to the Rays game on Sunday, and signed baseballs, jerseys, and bats.  He also got to finish watching the game on Saturday in the Steinbrenner box with his Dad.

Lopez's gesture was definitely appreciated by Jeter, and sets a great example for so many young fans. He's definitely got a fan here.

No comments: