Christian Lopez, a 23-year-old cellphone salesman from Highland Mills, N.Y., decided to return Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit ball Saturday instead of trying to cash in. He received memorabilia and tickets from the New York Yankees but then found out he may have to pay taxes on that windfall. If he does, at least two companies said Wednesday that they are ready to strike out his debt.I still don't believe giving the ball back was a wise decision, and had he kept and sold the ball that $150K debt would be completely wiped clean. That said, at least there are companies helping him out. Wise decision or not, the kid did do the nice thing and does deserve it. Sadly, none of those companies happen to be the New York Yankees.
But that's not all! For his generosity, Lopez will also get his own baseball card and has received a 2009 World Series ring.
The 2009 Yankees World Series ring came courtesy of Mitchell Modell, CEO of Modell's Sporting Goods, who got the ring because Modell's sponsors the Yankees. Both Modell and Brandon Steiner, CEO of Steiner Sports, guaranteed Lopez at least $25,000 each toward his outstanding student loans of $150,000.
Steiner said he got a call on Wednesday from his buddy Modell, and they got the ball rolling. Steiner set up an auction of memorabilia that eventually will include baseballs signed by both Lopez and Jeter and said Modell is pledging five percent from the sale of Yankees-related merchandise at the Modell's chain during what will be called "Christian Lopez Week."
Wednesday, July 13, 2011