Mitch Modell On WFAN: Why I Gave Christian Lopez My ’09 Yankees World Series Ring

NEW YORK (WFAN) — According to Mitch Modell, one good deed deserves another.

The CEO of Modell’s Sporting Goods announced on Wednesday that the retailer will donate 5 percent of all Yankees sales over the next week to Christian Lopez, the Yankees superfan who caught Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit on Saturday and promptly gave it back.

But that’s not all.

During the announcement, Modell presented Lopez with his 2009 Yankees World Series ring — an item that, if not considered priceless, would be worth many thousands of dollars.

Modell told WFAN’s Boomer & Carton on Thursday that he was happy to give the memento to Lopez, who has over $100,000 in student loan debt and could face a massive tax bill from the freebies he received in exchange for the No. 3,000 ball.

“I know, my boys are not talking to me,” Modell joked. “Why’d I do it? If you spent two hours like I did with this kid yesterday in my office, and you saw how genuine, how sincere this kid is, it’s unbelievable.”

Modell was originally given the ring for sponsoring the Yankees.

Listen: Mitch Modell on Christian Lopez’s “unbelievable” act

Memorabilia dealer Brandon Steiner of Steiner Sports is joining the cause. He and Modell pledged together to raise at least $50,000 for the 23-year-old fan. In addition to the ring and the generous donation, Lopez, who will even have his own Topps baseball card produced this year, also received a lifetime 20-percent off discount card to Modell’s.

“It’s just unbelievable how all he was interested in was, ‘How do I take care of the team? How do I take care of history? How do I take care of Derek?'” Modell said.

But does the sporting goods mogul have any regrets about giving up the ring?

“Absolutely not,” Modell said. “I want him to wear it in the best of health. What he did for New York, putting himself first, it really, if you think about it, is an unbelievable story.”

We’ll ask it again: keeping in mind the tax burden and the recent pledges by Modell & co., would you have given back the ball? Sound off in the comments below…

  • Naked truth

    So all the Yankees could do is give him a tickets? And all Jeter did was just take pics and thank him?

    It looks like modell is doing more for the kid than the Yankees organization.

  • Robert Antonicelli

    what he did was great….if he kept it and asked for a half a million everyone would be bashing this kid and sending him death threats. he is getting help from all sources and i wouldnt doubt derek and the yankees step up behind the scenes, quietly, and do more for him. good job christian..u did it right, just like derek

  • J. GOLD

    Way to go guys. Steiner’s “RAISING” money for Christian, while it’s helpful, means nothing is coming out of his pocket while millions are going into it.
    Re giving him a 20% lifetime discount, I have a MO’s card & get a 15% lifetime

  • Steven Scalici

    I would have held up 6 fingers to randy Levine, and said, “:the first number has to be a 2. You have until Wednesday before I call Sotheby’s and Super Agent Scott Boras this Wednesday so i could maximize my windfall, just as Derek did last winter. And please throw in a dozen balls the Jeter can sign in front of me.”

  • General

    I hope that these continued gifts don’t put a further burden on Lopez. I love what he did and respect him for his decision. However, all the additional gift could end up costing him more tax burdens. I would like to see Derek Jeter step up and help him payoff some of the tax issues.

  • Joe Fed

    I think what this kid did was commendable and he’s reeping some of the bennies from his good deed but the question I have is, what has Derek Jeter given this kid?

  • Scott

    Why does the owner of Modell’s have a world series ring? Was he on the disabled list that year?

  • Geo

    I think what Christian did is cool, but he is slowly entering the “tried of hearing about it” zone.

    • Mike

      I detect a bit of jealousy.

    • Tammy

      Are you sure you are tired of hearing about it? And if you are tired of hearing about it, don’t click on stories about it, read them, and then comment that you are “tried” of hearing about it.

    • Robert Antonicelli

      i dont think anyone gets tired of hearing about people who do the right thing geo.

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