Today we look at two people who recently made news in the wacky wide world of sports. Baseball, specifically.
First up, right off the bat (heh), is Christian Lopez, age 23. Profession: Customer service rep at Verizon. This is the guy who caught Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit, which turned out to be a home run to right-center.
In the world of baseball grown men are sometimes silly about their balls. Jeter wanted to possess the special 3,000th hit baseball. The weird part? That kid Lopez gave the ball back.
Said the kid: “I know I did the right thing. It never crossed my mind to not give it back. I’m only 23. I have plenty of time to make money.”
In a post-game conference the kid said that the ball and the moment belonged to Jeter.
It is estimated that the ball has a cash value of $100,000 to $250,000.
I don’t believe in karma, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when good deeds pay off. The Steinbrenner family was so touched by the gesture that they rewarded Lopez with four luxury box seats for all 32 remaining regular season games this year, plus playoffs and the World Series, if the Yankees make it that far. The seats have an estimated value of $40,000.
In this world where greed and money rule above all else, Lopez did a nice thing for another human being. And that’s why it is such big news. It was such a peculiarly odd thing to do.
Stepping in from the on deck circle is Derek Jeter himself. Now 37 years old, he’s the only player in Yankee history to have 3,000 hits. And only the 28th in MLB history. The big 3k came in dramatic fashion on a home run shot to right-center field.
I don’t often speak well about grown men employed in the profession of hitting a little ball with a stick, but Jeter may very well be a special case. I think it is safe to say that a lot of women consider him to be “hunky.” He has dated women like singer Mariah Carey, a former Miss Universe, actress Jessica Biel and several other beautiful and famous women. Never married, Jeter’s current girlfriend is actress Minka Kelly, and rumors and speculation about a possible engagement abound.
Unlike other scumbag professional athletes like cheater Tiger Woods, cheater/penis photographer Brett Favre and (potentially) doper Lance Armstrong, Jeter has never been rocked by scandal and appears to be one of the few on the up and up.
The very next day after getting 3k with a home run, Jeter followed up with a dramatic 5-for-5 performance, including the game-winning hit. He may not be as spry as he once was, but he’s still one of the biggest names in baseball and consistently one of the most entertaining to watch.
I offer a modest tip of the Abyss hat to both of these men who did something exceptional on the same day. Uh, wait. I just wrote a nice post about two people. What’s wrong with me?
He says he did the right thing but Jeter has made hundreds of millions of dollars and probably has thousands of pieces of memorabilia. It’s nice for the guy to say money wasn’t important to him, but he gave the ball to a guy with an awful lot of money.
Good point. I haven’t heard anything, but I’d assume that if Derek Jeter is a stand-up guy he’ll also do something nice for the kid. If not, he might just make it onto my list.
Even if Jeter does nothing, the kid still has the personal satisfaction of not being owned by his own greed. I think that is a very rare thing in today’s world. That’s something that can never be taken away. I asked myself, “If I had caught that ball, what would I do?” I’ll never really know, but I like to pretend I’d come through just like the kid.
I hadn’t read about the guy that caught the ball. Good for him and well-done by the NYY ownership.
That said, screw the Yankees. Go Phillies!
Agreed. And Yankees don’t need any more championships. Has there ever been such “championship disparity” in a professional sports league before? I wonder how the league, overall, is able to maintain a diverse fan base like that?
You’re right, two positives? Do you have a fever?
It’s definitely not a good sign. And something involving the damn Yankees, of all things. Someone better dial 9-1-1. I need a whambulance.