Would You Have Given Back Derek Jeter’s 3,000 Ball?

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Christian Lopez, the Yankees fan who caught Derek Jeter’s home run for his 3,000th hit, was posing for pictures with fans at the back of the lower-level stands on the third-base side Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Lopez is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame for giving back Jeter’s ball rather than saving it or selling it for big bucks.

According to Steiner Sports, the ball is estimated to be worth around $250,000. Instead of cashing in, Lopez received pricey season tickets among other goodies.

“The head of security sat us down and they are like ‘So what do you want?’ I was like ‘Oh wow I didn’t really think about this,’” Lopez told WFAN’s Ed Randall on Sunday. “I was like ‘I guess I really just want to give the ball to Jeter. I mean the guy deserves this.’

“They were like ‘Oh.’ They were like really shocked.”

Listen: Lopez with Randall on giving back the ball

But would you have done the same?

Lopez’s father, Raul, who was oh-so-close to catching the homer, admitted to the New York Post that he would have had second thoughts about handing over the prized ball.

“I think I would have handled it differently if I had held on to the ball,” he said.

“(The ball) landed right in my hand, and then it bounced out,” Raul “Chico” Lopez told the paper. “I can’t believe I dropped the ball.”

The 23-year-old Lopez, from Highland Mills got his $65 tickets through StubHub as a birthday present from his girlfriend, Tara Johnson, 22, also from Highland Mills.

“He got his tickets from his girlfriend, so he owes her quite a bit,” Jeter said after meeting Lopez. “He’s going to be paying her back for quite some time.”

“I would have done it over again 100 times,” Lopez told The Post. “I think I did the right thing.”

What would you have done? Sound off in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Rabbi Willie Wonkaberg

    i would have given it back for 10 million dollars
    i need money and i need it now!

  • Danny Gaze

    I would have definitely gave the ball back………….. in .exchange fro $250000..

  • levi

    As much as baseball players love the game, or any other pro sports, it’s their way of making a living…that’s why they bargain and haggle over contracts, money. Fans can capitalize too, if they’re lucky…in these hard economic times, I must say I certainly would have kept the ball…giving it up only for a hefty pay off. There is absolutely, positively nothing wrong with that or with what lopez did.

  • Joseph Didonato

    That ball should have never went back to Jeter. I would have auctioned that ball off. Jeter could care less about that guy or anyone else.

  • streven polinsky

    i think now the Yankees and Jeter should come to bat…….Payoff the taxes and all of his loans…. he did a good deed and its just coming back to bite him in the……
    Let Jeter and the yankees do the rite thing….. He Did

  • Jerry

    As always catchers prize!

    Highest bidder is the american way!

    If not Jeter then another who wants it for his mantle piece.

    Now the poor shortsighted soul has to pay taxes on his yankee seats and gifts, all which would have been avoided if he would have simply kept the ball and registered it as Jeters 3000 hit selling it at a later date!

  • Junior

    Heck no! I would want 1/2 of what is it worth, then gave him back the ball. He does not need the $$$$, most of us do.

  • Debbie

    This guy is a true Yankees fan. In his HEART he felt it was more memorable for Jeter to have it than he. When he went to the game he didn’t expect to catch the historical ball, most people ..SEEK MONETARY GAIN..but obviously he just wanted the memorable experience of not only handing the ball back to its rightful owner but meeting him as well.
    People can perhaps learn a thing or two from this guy. He will definitely be blessed.

    • solo

      If the Yankees can charge $13 for a beer, I can ask for $500,000 for the ball.

  • tired of this S__T!

    HELL-NO! now on top of 100k for student loans he’s gotta pay 14k in taxes on top of it all? Jeter should step up to the plate and pay for EVERYTHING!
    what the hell is going on here? he can write it off on his taxes anyway!!
    If I was the kid I’d throw back all of the gifts! just like the ball!

    • lydia

      Jeter is no different than all the fans who would make him pay up for the ball. Jeter makes us all pay up to see the Yankees.
      I am a 28 years old doctor, mature and beautiful.and now I am seeking a good man who can give me real love , so i got a username Andromeda2002 on–s’e’ek’c’ou’ga’r.c óm–.it is the first and best club for y’ounger women and old’er men, or older women and y’ounger men,to int’eract with each other. Maybe you wanna ch’eck ‘it out or tell your friends!

  • Pete

    I woud have milked it for all it was worth. They are all over paid cry-babys.
    And now, Jeter won’t play in the all star game be cause he is, ” Emotionally drained.”


    • beard

      The all-star game is bull im fine with jeter not playing

  • tampa ray

    money only matters to mlb players when it is their money, they go on strike for a few more million. When it comes to a fans money, its time to be generous. What a stupid kid, he could have sold the ball and had his future childrens college education taken care of.

  • MrHooah

    I would have given Jeter the ball too. The only reason that ball is worth anything is because of jeters accomplishments as a person, jeter trained most of his life and has become great it doesn’t matter if he’s rich or poor it was his training and drive that made this moment possible. So Christian gave him 250k big deal, it’s just money, money that could of made his life easier but that’s not what he wanted all he wanted was to give his favorite player back a ball that means alot to this mans hero. The only reason the ball has any worth is because of jeter so what he chose to do with it was his choice. Who knows maybe 250k would of ruined his life too made it complicated, we all work for money and short cuts to cash deminish our self worth and our morale to work hard, I say props to him for not wanting a hand out in life!

  • MSavage

    Sure I would have given back Derek Jeter’s ball……………..for about 500,000 US dollars. Just a drop or two in the bucket for him anyway.



  • Steve

    Too All, He is a good Kid! But, smart, I don’t know? Age will tell you a lot and at my age, I would sell the ball.

  • Pleased

    The young man is a class act. If I were Mr. Jeter, I’d hire him for my staff, as an exceptionally honest and reliable person.

    • TJ

      Jeter should hand over $100k and send a good message to all. Rich give back, and regular guys can be nice and generous also. C’mon Jeter, give this guy some money, most other people would never let you see this ball again.

  • pugphan

    I’ve been a Yanks fan for more than 50 yrs, and believe me even it were a Mantle,
    (da man in me time), ball I would’ve been pragmatic. That kid is an idol worshipper;
    Jeter, (da multimillionare), deserves this; he worked hard for it; hey I’m only 23 I got plenty of time to make money. That kind of dough sometimes only comes once in a life time. I have to wonder, does his family have money? How does his girl, dad, family feel about it? Anyway it’s too late now. smokersodyssey.com

  • A FAN

    When talking about ” THE RIGHT THING TO DO” Think about Jeter, and others like him, holding out for the most money they can get befor signing a contract knowing it will raise ticket prices for fans. Is that the “RIGHT THING TO DO?. Professional athletes think only of themselves and do not worry about the fans and how the high ticket prices may affect them. As they do, Christian should have thought about himself and his family. That would have been “THE RIGHT THING TO DO”

    • Sam Williams

      I agree with u 100%. after the game a fan asked Jeter for his autograph and he flat out said NO! Why should we care about these athletes who seem to forget its b/c of the fans they make the $$ that they do

    • All the idiots who think Christian did the right thing

      Oh, but it’s Jeter’s ball, he earrrrned it, he’s such a class act, he would do anything for his fans!

      If I caught that ball I wold have also handed over my wallet, the keys to my car, and signed my house over to him, that’s how much I, as a *real fan* owe him!

  • GREG


  • MIke

    Thank you Eric and Ben. This is SO entertaining!

    (Go Red Sox!)

    • Eric

      No problem, Mlke, but I gotta give a big NO to the Red Sox part. GO YANKEES!

  • C'mon Everybody

    I think we should all surrender our balls to Jeter.He is a class act afterall.

  • Nonie

    Of course the ball has more meaning to Jeter than anyone else. Give to him. It is the right thing to do.

    • Ellen

      Nonie, your a class act for saying you would give the ball back to Jeter. A class act for sure.

  • Johnny Handsome

    Make no mistake about it, Christian Lopez will be enriched far more than 250K.. Check back on him on about 6 months.

  • Bernie Sanders

    i hate jeter i would have kept the ball until they begged for it !

  • Randy

    I would of did the same for a man like Jeter. Jeter is a class act. He is a player who start a foundation in his rookie year and continues it until this day. He has not been in negative news in his career. He even let the Yankees stiff his in his last contract, just to continue to play baseball. It was Lopez’s ball. He should be able to do with it as he sees fit, and that was giving it to Jeter.

  • Chris Rivera

    Jeter earns what 100 million? The Yankees franchise most like earns morn then a billion a year. Yes I would have meet him to sell him the ball back. He can afford it if he really wanted it.

  • DJ

    Jeter is rich and famous because the FANS way over pay to see him play. He is a great ball player, I get it, I understand it but that doesnt mean we (the fans) owe him anything. We pay his 30 million a year salery, he should have paid for the ball! End of story!

    • Alex Palma

      Actaully advertising pays his contract, not the fans. The fans pay for hot dogs.

      • Eric

        Actually, when we purchase the products that the advertisers make, we are paying the salary.

  • Section 106 Fan

    Would the person who reaaly knows all the details speak up? What is Christian really receiving from Derek , the Yankees, MLB or other interested parties for Derek’s 3,000th hit baseball?

  • Sam

    Same here, Give the bal back to Jeter. A picture and a hand shake with Jeter is worth more than $250,000 dollars. When the time comes at age 70 or older then you call tell your grand kids a great baseball story about Jeters 3000 hit.

  • Joe

    Common sense would say to sell the ball back at a price….say 250k. It’s a business….no hard feelings either way. I don’t understand all the argument here. If the guy wants to give it back….I guess you could compare it to a ballplayer just playing for the love of the game. Sure…..but who does it? I applaud the guy but I wouldn’t have done it that way. If he didn’t want the money, he could have used it for some good causes. Still, it wouldn’t have hurt the Yankess or Jeter to have insisted on paying him.

    Eric makes the most sense in this argument.

  • A YankeeFan (not)

    I bet if it were the other way around and Jeter caught the ball he would not havet given it back for a mere pittance. The Yankess could have at least given season tickets for next year also. Jeter is laughing all the way to the bank .
    Jeter……….. part with your pocket change and give the guy 100,000 you won’t miss it

  • Eric

    Would Derek Jeter give Christian Lopez $250,000 out of the goodness of his heart? Never. A regular, stupid moron just gave a multimultimultimillionaire $250,000.

    The REAL class move would have been if Jeter said, “Here’s 200K, I appreciate that you were willing to give me the ball for nothing.” But you didn’t see that, did you? And I say this as a die-hard Yankee fan.

    • New Lamby


      You need a life. Do you have a job or are you part of the 9.2%.
      You seem bitter. Perhaps a supressed child hood memory.

    • Edgie

      I heard that Jeter got an “EDGE”. The least he could do is get one for Christian.

      • Eric

        LOL, nice one! He’s got an Eeeeeddddge, baby!

    • Chris

      Bullsh!t, you are clearly a Met fan – and a money-grabbing fvck.

      • Eric

        Lick my skidmarks, palsy-walsy.

  • Kevin

    Christian has a heart of gold which is worth much much more than a million for the baseball!
    He’s a class act just like Derek…

    • Eric

      What “classy act” did Derek do for the fan? Take some pictures with him? Sign some stuff? Wow, real classy not to throw some bucks Christian’s way.

      That’s why it was moronic of Lopez to GIVE Jeter the ball: Jeter is out to play baseball and make money. That does not make him a class act, and by not offering the fan a couple hundred thousand, you can see what Jeter is really all about.

      I am a Yankee fan and want Jeter to continue his post-injury form, but the guy is not some noble saint who loves and appreciates his fans. He is a greedy baseball player who takes as much money as he can. Just like the majority of ballplayers. End of story.

      • Ben

        It’s fans like yourself who are ruining the game. All you obviously care about is money and reflect that on baseball players themselves. Go on living your shallow, superficial, and cynical life. You obviously have lost the priceless joy in watching baseball and how a classy person like Jeter carries himself. Christian reflected that class. The fact you have a problem that really makes me question what values, if any, you have.

      • Eric

        Up yours, Ben.

      • Eric

        Ben, when did Derek Jeter ever take LESS money than offered (or not even fight for MORE money than offered) to play for the New York Yankees? NEVER.

        The game is ABOUT money. The only reason baseball EXISTS is because it makes money.

        Stop kidding yourself. Again, did JETER take anything from his pocket in appreciation for the fan giving him the ball. NO. Tell me, Benny, WHY Jeter didn’t do so, when Jeter will fight for money on every occasion that money is an issue? Answer: because Jeter is not an idiot, like you and Lopez.

        Open your freaking eyes, man.

      • Eric

        And Ben, one question, PLEASE answer this:

        Other than being a great Yankee, and not saying offensive things and getting in trouble, WHAT exactly makes Jeter such a classy person? Something BESIDES being an all-time Yankee great who never offends anyone and plays hard (whcih is what he gets PAID to do).

        Tell me Ben, I want to see what defines “class” for you.

  • elchiablo

    I applaud this guy, but Jeter makes approx. $150K EACH GAME! I would have offered Jeter for $150K (plus a gross up to cover taxes) for the ball (probably could get at least $200K on open market). A small pittance for Jeter, but a college fund for this guy’s future children. Nothing immoral about that

  • Larry

    This young man did the right and honorable thing and is now getting critisized? Society rewards greed, but going along with what society tells you is right is not a good idea. Especially in todays world of “me me me, what about me?!” He did the opposite thing of what most people would do and I applaud him. Who says that Derrick Jeter will not do something for him without letting anyone else know about it. Would that suprise anyone? Mr. Lopez will receive his reward because he did the right thing. I’m willing to bet he feels pretty good about knowing his conscience is clear.
    By the way, I’m a Mets fan.

    • Honest Injun

      I would’ve traded the ball for six figures.

    • Eric

      Larry, let’s say you find a $250,000 lottery ticket on the ground. It’s impossible to find the true owner, but right then, you spot Derek Jeter walking by. Do you say, “Man, Derek, you are a classy guy, you’ve done a lot for the Yankees and the fans, here’s $250,000, buddy!”

      That’s what Christian Lopez did. When was the last time Jeter did something classy like tell the front office, “You know what, cut ticket prices for every fan by $10 tonight, and I’ll cover the cost.” NEVER.

      Why does the poor guy get treated like a hero for DONATING money to the rich guy? Lopez SHOULD be ridiculed! Next thing, Lopez will ll be offering to pay triple his taxes so he can ease a little bit of Jeter’s tax bill. Wow, wouldn’t that be another honorable thing to do!

      It’s funny how the players never have to do anything classy except sign something or take some pictures. As long as they play well and don’t say anything stupid, they are considered “classy.” People are blind.

      • Ben

        It’s not a lottery ticket you stupid idiot. Wow, you are a freaking greedy idiot. GFY

      • Eric

        Ben, you moron, it was an object worth $250,000. It’s obvious your brain may not be able to comprehend this scenario, but try to follow along:

        Christian Lopez could have taken the ball and gotten $250,000 from Jeter for it, if Jeter wanted the ball enough, or gotten the 250K from someone else.

        Now, here;s the tricky part, Benny, try to stay with me, pal:

        If Christian Lopez had a 250K dollar lottery ticket, he could take that ticket and get 250K for it.

        You see? Christian Lopez had something in his hand worth 250K dollars. Doesn’t matter if it was a lottery ticket or not. The net gain to Jeter (assuming he would have paid for the ball) was 250K dollars. Jeter was UP 250K at the end of the day, and Christian Lopez was DOWN 250K.

        Wow, Benny, you are as dumb as Christian Lopez.

  • Debbe Hardymon May

    Jeter deserved to keep the ball. I would have given it to him in trade for his autograph on another ball.

    • Eric

      Debbe, you can still mail him a check. If you really enjoy giving free mmoney to multimillionairs, just send him a little something; it doesn’t matter if you caught the ball or not. He’ll still gladly accept your contributions.

  • Debbe Hardymon May

    I think Jeter deserves to keep the ball. I would have given it to him in trade for his autograph on another baseball.

  • Debbe Hardymon May

    I would have given back the ball with a trade for Jeter’s autograph on another ball for me.

    • Corky, from "Life Goes On"

      You can say that again.

      • Corky Part Deux


        You can say that again and again

  • Pat Johnson

    I would have kept the ball and if I thought I did not need the money(Fat chance) I
    would donate the ball to a Parkinson’s disease charity so that can help people
    with this awful disease that my spouse has.
    PerhapsJeter should have given this man a tip ,I think anyone making 30 million dollars+ a year can afford a 100 thou. which what the news said the ball would fetch.

    • Eric

      Now YOU have laid out the best scenario of all. *If* you’re going to give away 250K dollars, is it better to give to people who are suffering, or to someone who already has more money than they could ever get rid of?

      Oh, but wait, aren’t you a REAL fan, a REAL fan would give that money to Derek Jeter! ***snark***

  • A. Bruno

    It’s funny, nobody truly knows what they would have done in that situation without experiencing it first hand. It is just great to see that a fan like Christian got to be such a big part of a great historical moment. This will be talked about for many years to come and it could not have played out any better, for Jeter, the organization, and the fans. Just unbelievable!

  • Jimmy

    I like to think I’d give it back, but once I had it in my hands – we’ll I’m not sure. I might see dollar signs flashing before my eyes.

  • Seriously

    would it kill the yankees or even jeter to pony up with about 100k for this guy? he did the right thing, yes, but 3 or 4 years from now when this is all forgotten and he doesn’t have his free yankee game seats and he’s got nothing to show for this except a few pictures, the memory that the yankees and jeter “really did the right thing” would sit pretty well. imo.

    • Ronnie B

      This is so true. Why is it up to the fan to do the actual “classy” thing that all the supporters are raving about. They say that Derek is such a classy player, and that’s why Lopez was right for giving him the ball, but WHEN has a player ever shown such class?

      There’s carnies and rubes in this world: Jeter is the carnie, making all the money, while Lopez is the rube, the one that just handed Jeter 250K more.

      Can anyone name something Jeter has done that is so “classy,” other than being a phenomenal player and not saying stupid things???

      • Why

        You could see in the press conference that Jeter was not interested at all in this kid. He scooted away quickly. He could have been a little “classy” and at least showed some genuine thanks to the kid.

  • Marc

    This is great! This kid gave the ball back instead of holding out for a big stack of cash! As a reward he will receive pricey home game tickets for the rest of the season to include the play-offs, along with signed memorabilia. How about the tax bill for all of those gifts at the end of the year!? If someone from the Yankees organization does not pick up that bill, Lopez will wish he had held out for that big stack of cash!

    • Eric

      It would be really funny if Lopez forgets to claim all that stuff on his taxes, and ends up imprisoned for tax evasion. He deserves it. No, I take that back, he doesn’t deserve that.

      Just because he is stupid enough to do what he did, I don’t want him to get in any trouble. He shouldn’t be punished for being stupid, but you raise a nice point:

      He is receiving gifts that have cash value. He now has to pay taxes on those gifts. He is actually LOSING physical money on this deal. This guy takes the cake, what an idiot. Jeter makes us all pay without a second thought, Lopez should have made Jeter pay in the same manner.

  • Fake Name

    I’m a Red Sox fan but I applaud what Mr. Lopez did. It shows true character and teaches the rest of us that everything doesn’t have to be about money. But that said, if I were Mr. Jeter I would give him the $250,000 anyway, just because I could so easily afford it.

    • yo, beantown

      ah yes, you speak the truth my boston brother….

      oh, and death to the red sox :)

  • lovethejeets

    I agree with Sexy’s comment in that Christian’s name will go down in the history books along side Jeter’s. As a long time Yankees and Jeter fan I too would have given the ball back. Meeting Jeter would have been awesome. Besides, I think Christian will see kickbacks from TV interviews and appearances. Good job Christian!

    • Eric

      Because you are such a fan, please send Derek some money. Send it to the front office, make the check out to Jeter. Send as much as you can spare, actually, send more than you can spare. After all, you’re a fan. Derek Jeter deserves to receive free money from you.

      And I am certain Christian Lopez can parlay his act of stupidity into at least a quarter million dollars worth of TV interviews and appearances. They pay HUGE dollars to appear on GMA or Leno or Letterman. Hahahahaha!

  • JL

    I am a Yankees fan but I would have held out for a little more than just meeting Jeter. The Yankees are don’t care about you or me as shown with the what occurred with the rain out. They could have pressed the Rays to play knowing many fans paid top dollar for the game but opted for the business end. With that in mind I would have been like SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

    • Johnny Handsome

      Have you any clue what you are talking about? BOTH teams have to agree to play. How the Yankees were gonna press them, I’ve no idea. Do you really think Derek would have hit 3000 in the rain out game? No, it was meant to happen the way it did. Hence him going 5 for 5 and making 3000 a home run.

      • JL

        You may be handsome but not really knowledgeable. If the Yankees wanted to really play they could have. Ultimately they didn’t want to lose money.

    • MIKE




      • Eric

        Good comments, JL and Mike.

        Like I keep saying, what has Jeter ever done to benefit the fans? The guy gets PAID to play. He didn’t accept the last offer to play for the Yankees, but fought out for millions more. That makes EVERY fan pay more.

        He is a baseball player who takes as much money as he can possibly get. He never thought, “Well, I’m nearing the end of my career, I’ll take a pay cut to help keep costs down so fans can sae some money when coming to see me and the Yankees play.”

        All these idiots act as if Jeter is a noble saint who deserved to get the ball for free. Fools. I like Jeter as a player, but he is not some saint, and Lopez is just stupid for doing what he did.

  • steffi

    Christian Lopez did what his conscience told him to do. God bless him. Please people stop putting him down and calling him names. Grow up. Move on. Way to go Christian, don’t let anyone tell you different.

    • steffi

      I was kidding. What I mean to say was, Christian, you are a FOOL for giving that ball away. God is laughing at you, Christian. Also, I am glad your girlfriend dumped you.

      • Johnny Handsome

        Leave the drugs alone Steffi! Just say no.

  • MIKE



    • Mikes dad

      Wow MIKE what a sad human being you are no morals I see.Only thing I have to say is good thing a real yankee fan caught it.

      • MIKE


        BTW YOU SUCK!!!!

      • Eric

        Mikes dad, if you are a REAL Yankee fan, mail Derek a check for $5,000, just for the enjoyment you have gotten out of watching him pay.

        Go ahead, do it, or you aren’t a real fan.

        Just because Jeter has been a good ballplayer who doesn’t outwardly act like a jerk doesn;t mean that “REAL” fans should give him a $250,000 present. When is the last time Jeter did anything financially benefiting all the “REAL” fans? Answer: not once in his entire career.

        I guess to be a “REAL FAN” you have to be a complete idiot.

    • Mikes Mommy

      Mike don’t listen to your father. He’s a bum! Thats why i left him for someone who is richer and smarter!

      • Mikes dad

        Hey son dont listen to your mother she is a met fan.

      • MIKE


  • Sexy

    Lopez will be Blessed in so many ways by doing something so unselfish! He’s part of History and no one can take that away from him. May his future be Prosperous!

  • Mike Gibbs

    Lopez is a true baseball and Yankees fan…based on your poll, obviously there are not many left out there…or maybe it’s mostly Mets and Red Sox fans that are voting, lol.

    • Eric

      So a fan has to give $250,000 for free to a multimillionaire player. If Jeter honestly appreciated the fan’s gesture, he would have offered to pay the guy anyway, but based on your logic, that means Jeter isn’t a good Yankee but is instead a Mets or Red Sox player….

      Remember Jeter’s contract negotiations? He squeezed EVERY cent he could out of it. Can’t say I blame him, but when a stoic Yankee does that, can;t you see that their bottom line is just The Money?

      Jeter is no different than all the fans who would make him pay up for the ball. Jeter makes us all pay up to see the Yankees.

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