Foul ball: Good deed ain't worth it for one Yankees fan

So he hands back a recording-breaking ball to his hero. The Yankees acknowledge his gesture and the taxman screws him. God bless America.

Jeter and Lopez happy before the taxman cometh.
Jeter and Lopez happy before the taxman cometh.
Image: Bill Kostroun/AP/Press Association Image

HE IS MR New York! He is a one-team man –  he epitomises the Yankees.

And last Friday night Derek Jeter became the first Yankee ever to make 3,000 hits.

In the far left field bleachers of New Yankees stadium sat, stood, drank and ate 23-year-old Christian Lopez. It was the bottom of the third inning and the Yankees were trailing 1-0 to divisional rivals the Tampa Bay Rays.

Then Lopez’s life changed.

Jeter comes to the plate, it’s not been one of his best years, just two home runs so far but 78 hits in 68 games, so he is consistent. Tampa’s pitcher David Price has a full 3-2 count (three balls and two strikes) – Jeter(37) has been here before, he stays on plate by fighting off a couple of foul balls and then Price offers him one.

A breaking ball over the middle of the plate, it missed its target high and Jeter whacks it. The stadium erupts as it soars towards left field. HOME RUN!

Three men jostle for the ball! Christian Lopez raises his hand in triumph. A moneyball!!!

People have paid crazy money for baseball records over the years. Mark McGuire’s record-breaking home run record ball fetched over $3 million.

Lopez is indebted up to his neck in student loans – this ball would be his way out. But in his eyes it’s not his ball – it belongs to Mr New York, Derek Jeter and he wanted him to have it.

In it’s stead the New York Yankees have offered Mr Lopez a host of rewards totalling well over $50,000 – signed balls, bats, hats and four seats for the remainder of the season, so one good deed deserves another, right?

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Wrong. The news from the states is the taxman wants a share, possibly up to $15,000 worth.

At the time of the press calls for this amazing story of human kindness, Jeter – who it happens skipped the MLB All-Star week in Phoenix, stating emotional exhaustion was happy to sign balls, jerseys and caps for Lopez without reason to think it could all go back to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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