Talk about a true fan.
23-year-old Yankees fan Christian Lopez caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit when the long time Yankees shortshop blasted it into the left field bleachers against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday. Jeter became the first Yankee ever to get to 3,000 hits and the 28th overall.
After catching the ball, Lopez decided to do the honorable thing. He decided to give it back to Jeter.
It wasn't about the money, Lopez said. It was a milestone. I'm not going to take it away from him.
The ball undoubtedly would have been worth some money on the open market. On auction alone, collectors have paid millions for famous balls. Mark McGwire's 70th homerun ball sold for $3 million back in 1998. Hank Aaron's record breaking 755th homerun sold for $750,000 back in the 1970s. With the respect and admiration baseball fans have for Jeter, hit number 3,000 would have definitely brought in some coin.
In return for the ball, Lopez got a pretty nice package. He got to meet Jeter after the game. The Yankees also gave him four tickets in the suite level for all remaining home games, including playoff games. He also will get to the front row of the Legends Suite section for Sunday's game and receive Yankees memorabilia.
Lopez said his girlfriend bought him tickets to Saturday's game from hubstub. He knew he might get a chance to see hit 3,000.
The whole purpose of me coming to the game was for history and to be actually being a part of it now is just crazy, Lopez said.
What would you have done? Sold the ball or given it back to Jeter.