Selfless act after as great as the 3,000th hit
Jul 14, 2011 | 2490 views | 2 2 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Christian Lopez, a 23-year-old kid from Highland Mills, New Jersey, caught Derek Jeter’s (#2 on his back) home-run ball Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the left field stands. The ball, hit by Jeter for his 3,000th major league hit, could have been worth more than $100,000, according to speculators. But Lopez, who coincidentally has a reported debt of $100,000 in student loans, turned the ball over to Yankee officials almost as if he were turning over a found wallet. Fertile debate on Lopez’s decision to give the ball back has taken Casey Anthony off Come to think of it, how is it any different than giving the wallet back to its rightful owner?

Lopez’s love of the Yankees and for Jeter was his reward, just the way the look on someone's face when you hand over his lost wallet is reward enough.

A look of astonishment on a bouncer’s face recently when my pal gave him $100 in wrapped one-dollar bills he obviously dropped on the floor in a Brooklyn bar was enough of a reward for us.

But Lopez took it to another level on Saturday. “I’m grateful,” said Lopez of all the support and newfound fame.

“But it wasn’t about the money … I’m not going to take that away from [Jeter],” Lopez said in a press conference.

Those words sounded crazy to most. Does that ball really belong to Jeter? Doesn’t everyone have a price? How often are we asked the question about how much money would be enough to not return something to its rightful owner?

It begs for the debate about how our society has accepted the idea that we should get as much money as possible for anything that can fetch it. Try to turn down a reward for returning someone’s wallet. It feels great.

It’s refreshing that someone so young as Lopez has values so pure that few in our city can grasp the concept of them. Let's honor him as a role model for starting a trend of thinking less about money and more about doing the right thing.

Most people wouldn’t have even thought of giving it back, because we are constantly confused with statements like "good guys finish last" and "all’s fair in love and war."

They’re all excuses for followers, not leaders. Christian Lopez is a leader. Let’s hope he is setting a trend.

“It’s like winning the lottery,” said a man after the game. “How can he give it back?”

A true fanatic like Lopez values becoming part of Yankee lore over the reality of getting $100,000.

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abienyc
|
July 15, 2011
It is right to return things to the owners and not ask for any thing, but this is different,

With all due respect to Jeter, who may just be the greatest ball player of our era, he got as much as he could get when he signed on for somewhere around $200,000,000.

Considering that these player salaries make it almost impossible for most middle class people to attend ball games due to the ticket prices that are demanded to pay these salaries, I see nothing wrong if the person who caught the ball held out for top dollar. I would even have gone a little further and asked that a matching amount went to help the underprivileged youth who are in need.

Does anyone out there agree?
abienyc
|
July 15, 2011
It is right to return things to the owners and not ask for any thing, but this is different,

With all due respect to Jeter, who may just be the greatest ball player of our era, he got as much as he could get when he signed on for somewhere around $200,000,000.

Considering that these player salaries make it almost impossible for most middle class people to attend ball games due to the ticket prices that are demanded to pay these salaries, I see nothing wrong if the person who caught the ball held out for top dollar. I would even have gone a little further and asked that a matching amount went to help the underprivileged who are in need.

Does anyone out there agree?