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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (98)
  1. John says:

    What an idiot. And you think Jeter would have given him something.. even 10k … this bothers me for some reason.

  2. chris says:

    Honestly, this guy Jeter was not at the same level of Lopez. He could have done so much better by allowing Lopez keeping the ball or at least pay some of its value, it would have been a perfect score for him and he would be remembered not only as a great sportman but also as a better human being…. also it would have been a great PR for him. The guy is rich, yes he has worked hard but honestly he does not need the ball, keeping it is nothing compared to what it would have mean to let Christian have it.

Leave a Reply