NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Fans are flocking to sports stores to get their hands on some red-hot Derek Jeter merchandise celebrating his 3000th hit.
Everything from t-shirts to cups to baseball hats, customers are lining up to snag a piece of history.
“He’s a gentleman off the field, he’s a class act, that’s all there is to it,” said fan Joe Spreitzer, who was among the first inside the Modell’s store in midtown Saturday night.
He couldn’t wait to squeeze into a Jeter t-shirt and says he puts the captain right up there with Yankee‘s greats like Mickey Mantle and others.
“Stop and think about it, out of all the superstars they’ve had, he’s the only Yankee that got 3,000 hits,” said Spreitzer. “So what does that tell you?”
WCBS 880’S Sophia Hall reports: Fans Excited They Witnessed History
“I saw the ball roll in front of me and I jumped on it,” said Lopez. “I thought, wow this is it.”
Sports memorabilia experts estimate its value at as much as $250,000 but Lopez turned it back in, his gift to his favorite player.
“Mr. Jeter deserved it,” he said. “I wasn’t going to take that away from him.”
“I had an opportunity to meet him a while ago. He got the ticket from his girlfriend,” said Jeter. “He’ll be paying her back for quite some time.”
Still, Lopez didn’t go away empty-handed. He gets four tickets for every game for the rest of the season, a few signed balls and bats and what he wanted most, a face-to-face with his hero.
“Making it Jeter’s 3000th hit, made it so much sweeter,” said Lopez.
Jeter is the fifth Yankees player to achieve 3,000 hits, but the only one to do it while playing for New York. Hall of Famers Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson, Paul Waner and Boggs all got No. 3,000 with other clubs.
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