Modell’s, Miller High Life To Rescue Yanks Fan Christian Lopez From Tax Burden; Topps To Make Card

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Christian Lopez, the Yankees superfan who caught Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit on Saturday, is about to get some much-needed help from sporting goods giant Modell’s.

He’s also about to get his own baseball card.  Topps will produce a trading card featuring Lopez that will be included in sets later this year. Company vice president for sports Mark Sapir says Topps employees were impressed by Lopez’s selfless act.

Sapir says Topps also will have Lopez choose the image for its 2012 Derek Jeter card.

It was reported on Tuesday that Lopez, who admitted he owes more than $100,000 in student loan debt, may have to pony up thousands of dollars in taxes for the freebies he received from the Yankees in exchange for the prized baseball, valued by Steiner Sports at $250,000 on the open market.

The 23-year-old Verizon employee told the New York Daily News that he plans on paying the IRS, but wouldn’t mind a little help.

Well, it looks like help is on the way. According to CNBC’s Darren Rovell, “Gotta go to Mo’s” is about to take on a whole new meaning.

Over the next seven days, Modell’s will donate 5 percent of all Yankees sales to Lopez, with a guaranteed amount of $25,000, reported Rovell. An announcement is expected at the retailer’s Times Square store on Wednesday.

Also joining the cause: Miller High Life, which offered to cover the tax burden on Wednesday.

“Miller High Life believes you should be rewarded for doing the right thing, not penalized,” Brendan Noonan, the brew’s brand manager, said in a statement. “We want to recognize Christian Lopez, and in turn everyone like him, for doing the common sense thing and help him continue to live the High Life.”

High Life also offered to throw Lopez and his friends a party — complete with free beer.

With Jeter fans flocking to stores to pick up commemorative No. 3,000 merchandise, Lopez will likely be able to pay his massive tax bill — and then some. According to the Daily News, Lopez could owe between $5,000 and $13,000 to the IRS.

The New York Times calculated the superfan’s tax bill — for the Jeter autographed bats, balls and jerseys, four front-row seats on Sunday and four Champions Suite tickets for the remainder of the season — at around $14,000.

“I’m not going to return the seats,” Lopez told the Daily News. “I have a lot of family and friends who will help me out if need be.”

What do you think of the gesture by Modell’s? Sound off in the comments below…



  • HUGO

    I”m going to shop at Modell’s this weekend and then down a six pack of Miller!



  • jeesch!

    Jeter, you big Puss Cheap too

  • Steve

    I can’t believe that doing the right thing for a sport you really like (and player) is turning to be such a disgrace for the IRS.
    It is so hard to be a hero these days Mr. Lopez….thank you for coming to the rescue and making me believe there is still hope in the great American past-time and also the integrity of a kid from the Bronx. May god smile down upon you and make all your dreams a reality. If it was ‘ME’ who caught the ball..the first thing I would have done is, take a cab to Citi Field and hold the ball hostage. Your the Best Mr. Lopez and this weekend I will drink Miller beer and buy a Yankee hat ‘maybe not’ at Modells

    • Mark Matis

      What else would one expect from FedGov? He’s just lucky they haven’t already sent the DOE SWAT team to collect on his student loans. You know, like they did for Kenneth Wright:
      But if he’s lucky, FedPig will hit the wrong home, like they did with Wright. They were after his estranged wife, who doesn’t live with him. It only took them 6 hours to figure that out.

      The stench is overwhelming.

  • Alan

    Good foe Modells and Miller, I applaud them for what they’re doing. As for those cheap B******S Jeter and The Yankess, 2 words DROP DEAD.

  • BobbyBaseball92545

    It wasn’t him who mentioned the student loans the first time around. It was his girlfriend. Get the facts straight. And yes I agree Jeter should and maybe will/has reached out monetarily through his agent. If Jeter doesn’t he’s a bigger loser than I thought he was.

    P.S. I’m so happy with what the young man. For one day I’m giving my cynicism a rest.

  • John B.

    These companies (Modell’s and Miller ) should put Christian Lopez in a commercial. The money he makes for the commercial can help pay his bills and will also teach others to do the right thing.

  • Bustelo Caribe El Pico

    Chris Lopez Inc. Chris should become a business and protected by law from
    creditors .

  • Rough Rosie

    That’s awesome! Very cool of Modell’s and Miller High Life to do this!

  • mike gray

    I personally know Chris Lopez, a real stand up kid, unfortunately his hero Derek Jeter isn’t!! Chris never asked for $$$, which most people would have, because he felt like he was doing the “right thing”. Does Jeter know what the “right thing” is!!! How cheap is this dude??? Derek reached into your freaking pocket and do the “right thing!!! Just saying!!!!

    • James

      I know Chris Lopez as well, but who the hell are you?. Like I told him, next time, don’t catch the ball. That’s a lesson fans should learn. It’s not Jeter’s responsibly to pay for anything.

      All those people who have caught & sold the baseballs all have paid a tax, that’s the price you pay for dashing, fighting & crashing into people trying retrieve a ball, especially a historical one.

      You don’t like what Jeter did or did not do, tough, this was Saturday and things have not change since, no matter what you think. Could’ve, should’ve.

      Chris Lopez has had his 15 minutes of fame because of this, he has stated he does not regret what he did, respect his wishes as well.

  • steffi

    People, how do you know that Derek Jeter or the Yankees didn’t make a phone call to the companies to help the kid out..It’s good free publicity for the companies. Still, Christian Lopez should contact a tax lawyer.

  • Carol L.

    The Times calculated the tax bill; has the IRS actually weighed in yet? Will Modell’s and Miller’s generosity also be counted as a windfall? I think it’s time to consult a tax lawyer who might know how to intercede.

  • SnS028

    Dabooch said it ALL!
    Lopez did what he felt was right and was rewarded for it. It’s sad that the reward came with a price and others are stepping up to help out.


  • denise lobosco

    I think that is great that Model’s came thru and I love Derek Jeter but I think
    Derek Jeter should pay the taxes. He would have paid thousands of dollars for that ball

  • pugphan

    We’re getting taxed to hell…when someone has good fortune smile upon him, it ought to be tax exempt. It’s a gift!

  • eddie

    Modell jumped on this for one reason, Money to be made, after all their only giving 5% of all Yankees sales to this kids cause, Modell will be making a lot of money from this, and at the end, the kids bill is paid by all the hard working stiffs out there buying goods from Modell to help the kids cause.

  • P8nt

    The dude didn’t need to tell everyone and their mother that he owed 100k in student loans. He could’ve just said here’s your 3000th hit, and leave it at that. Sure Jeter could have given him something to give his gratitude, but he’s not obligated to do so. The Yankee’s isn’t obligated to do anything either. There’s people that’s worse off than this dude, and some that’s in the same situation, but you don’t see them advertising their situation to the world.

    • Harvey Birdman

      i think it’s more the fact that they rewarded him with a bunch of junk that can be taxed and that they expect the kid who’s already in debt to pay off those taxes on top of it all. Also, how saint-like can one Yankees’ fan really be? I mean so what if he mentioned that he owes a bunch of money in student loans, maybe he felt he should be rewarded, wouldn’t you? I know If i gave back the ball, I’d like a little recognition of how much i sacrificed…

      • p8nt

        People should do things out of their own merit, without wanting recognition. Doing something good, with the expectation of getting recognition is greed.

        As far as sacrifice, what exactly did the kid sacrifice?? He certainly doesn’t look like he’s starving.

        Either way, if the Yankee’s gave him money to pay off his bills, he would have to declare said money as income earned, and get taxed anyway.

  • Harvey Birdman

    I don’t care about him not attending the allstar game….. that’s not the point, and regardless he didn’t deserve an allstar starting spot, look at the numbers he’s put up so far…. mediocre at best. Besides he’s recovering from w/e injury or fatigue he’s said to have, so who cares. The fact of the matter is that a fan gave up a basically priceless piece of Yankees’ history to the player that made the history, and that player hasn’t even the decency to pick up the tab for the taxes that the poor guy has to pay just for do right by him.

    • Yoly

      I can smell your red sox’s a mile away…. I voted for him to be in the allstar, I should be upset.. but I am not, because the team comes first and if he gets hurt again, then we can’t beat the sox…. we need him and Alex healthy.. look what happen to your pitcher…. He has done what no other Yankee had ever done before… nor your sox will ever do in your lifetime..

    • Harvey Birdman


  • RYAN

    JETER(CAPTAIN FRAUD) could care less about the FANS. he is a FRAUD, spending the all star break in his multi-million dollar new mansion in TAMPA. just another SELFISH ballplayer who puts on a fake image. greedy ballplayers & greedy owners, now it was LOPEZ’ chance to cash in on capitalism. he should have started the auction bidding at 3 MILLION$$$…i lost all RESPECT for CAPTAIN FRAUD…THINK ABOUT IT!

    • Joan Antuofermo

      I just thought about it and—–your comment is ridiculous.

  • John

    Lopez did the right thing. We need more young people like him. Now the Yankees and Jeter should do the right thing in return and help the kid out. Set an example!

    • Yoly

      I agree one knows what/and if Jeter did give this kid something fo the ball… like Geoge said… if more than 2 people know then you are not doing it for the right reason…Jeter probably did give this kid something… at least I want to think that way..

      • Joan Antuofermo

        Jeter did give Lopez something. He gave him signed balls, bats and jerseys, which I’m sure will be worth a pretty penny in the future. So to all the dopes who “have lost respect” for Jeter — I say—-who cares?

  • Tina

    As much as Jeter and the Yankees are worth, it’s a shame that Modell’s and Miller’s are picking up the tax bill. SHAME ON THEM!!!!!

    • Yoly

      Tina.. I work in advertising, they are doing this not because they want to be so nice to the guy…. they are doing it.. number one because they can, they are as big as the Yankees and number two because the are advetising their NAME….DUH

  • sufferndude

    isn’t the modell’s benefit also taxable?

    • Diane

      Of course it is. Tax rate is about 20%. But the beauty of cash is the remaining 80% can be used for other espenses and is a gift.

  • Wat To Go

    Add me to the list.
    Where exactly is Jeter in all of this?
    Looking out for himself and his interests only.
    Turns out Jeter is as much of a creep as A-Rod.
    Good going Cheats.

    • Wat To Go

      Sorry for the dupe.

  • It Figures

    Add me to the list.
    Where exactly is Jeter in all of this?
    He is where he always is, looking out for himself and his interests only.
    Turns out Jeter is as much as a selfish creep as A-Rod.
    Good going Cheats.

  • jo

    Shame on Jeter & the Yankees. The guy did the right thing without being greedy and he gets stuck with the bill.
    I will now support Modell’s & Miller for doing a good thing!!!
    Boooo Yankees & Jeter – hope they lose.

  • chris10280

    yeah…yankee management is once again on the cutting edge of creepy. but stupidity in this case too. when i think of all the good will publicity they could have earned. for heaven’s sake, reward this fan for his selfless dedication to the team! pay his taxes AND his school bills. we need more like him – FOR SURE.

  • eddie

    Totally lost respect for Jeter and the Yankees organization , Jeter should have come fourth and offered to pay that tax bill.

    Lets see how Yankees Fan feel about this one….

  • dabooch

    When you hang around with the elite your going to get cinched sooner or latter. Lopez is a fool to give the Steinbrenner’s who schemed about this scenario long before Lopez headed to the park. Oh by the way, give me an explanation why Jeet doesn’t have to pay taxes on $ 250,000 the fair value of the ball. Jeet also doesn’t pay NY State taxes on the salary he earns…he resides in FL, but sleeps in Trump Towers as he pulls down his River Ave. salary. Celebrity always wins, surfs always pay.

    • 22222


    • GlennTax

      Yes, Jeter definately pays NY tax and tax to every state he works in… it’s the law. Regarding the ball… The ball belonged to Lopez to do with it as he pleased. Jeter has no implied contract with Lopez or vice-versa, therefore Lopez made a tax-free gift to Jeter. Gifts are valued for tax purposes at the donor’s cost, so since the ball cost Lopez nothing, Jeter will only pay tax IF & WHEN he sells the ball, and at whatever the sale price is AT THE TIME OF SALE.
      On the other hand, Lopez received an award from the Yankee’s for doing a service, which was returning the ball. He owes ordinary income tax on the value of the award, to be reported on Line 21 of his 2011 tax return.

    • Larry Fahy

      Jeter and all athletes pay NY state income tax for the days they “work” in NY. That said, he has looked bad over this, not attending the AllStar game and not going to Bob Sheppards funeral.

    • Felix

      All Really good Points!

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