Christian Lopez was just enjoying some father/son bonding time at Yankee Stadium when Mr. November went yard for his 3000th hit. Of the over 50,000 fans in attendance, he was the lucky one who caught the ball, and speculation began on what the bounty would be on the historic piece of leather, cork, and rubber.
Lopez’s price: Nothing.
The Yankees repaid his unselfishness by showering him with lavish and expensive gifts, like season tickets for the remainder of the season and tons of signed memorabilia. Seems like a great story, until Uncle Sam stepped in and reminded us nothing in life is free.
The figures vary, but Derek Jeter‘s 3000th hit ball could be worth as much as $500,000. That’s a lot of peanuts and crackerjacks. And Christian Lopez, who has around $100,000 in student loans, just handed it right over.
Nicest. Guy. Ever.
Lopez was well taken care of. Box seats at Yankee Stadium for the rest of the season. Signed memorabilia from the entire team. A very nice gesture from the winningest franchise in all of sports, only to be tarnished by the…
*Dun Dun Duuuunnnnn*
Silly for us to think anything is free in this world, even a gift. It’s been reported that Lopez will owe anywhere from $5,000 to $14,000 in taxes to the IRS for his seats and memorabilia. That’s a hefty hunk of chedder, especially for a 23-year-old cell phone salesman with $100,000 in student loans. Lopez isn’t stressing it, though.
“The IRS has a job to do, so I’m not going to hold it against them, but it would be cool if they helped me out a little on this,” Lopez told the Daily News.
Personally, I think good ‘ol DJ should pick up the tab. He can afford it, trust us. He just bought a house the size of a Walmart that he’ll spend only a few weeks in during the year.
But have no fear, corporate America is here! The Champagne of Beers, Miller High Life, has decided to flip the tax bill for Christian.
“Miller High Life believes you should be rewarded for doing the right thing, not penalized,” Miller High Life brand manager Brendan Noonan said in a statement. “We want to recognize Christian Lopez, and in turn everyone like him, for doing the common sense thing and help him continue to live the High Life.”
Continue living the “High Life?” I suppose paying off Christian’s tax bill is cheaper than commercial time. Way to go, PR Department.
CEO of Modell’s Sporting Goods, Mitch Modell, is getting into the mix as well. He’s decided to pay $25,000 towards Christian’s $100,000 student loan, and even threw a 2009 Yankees World Series ring on top of that.
Careful, that’s probably not tax free.
And that’s not all. Lopez gets to have every kids childhood dream come true, by having his own baseball card courtesy of Topps. He doesn’t many more details on the matter, but he’s not the type of guy to pry for answers.
“Yeah, I spoke with them a couple days ago,” Lopez said. “All I know, is they kind of want to make a baseball card out of me.”
Watch Christian Lopez in the booth after he catches Jeter’s 3000th hit!
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