Would You Give the Ball Back?

by Joe Lavelle on July 14, 2011

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I’m sure that most of you have heard by now that history was made earlier this month at Yankee Stadium.  Derek Jeter connected for his 3000th hit, joining only twenty-seven other major league players who have accomplished the same milestone.  And, perhaps one of the most amazing parts of Jeter’s story, given the history of the franchise, is that he is the first Yankee to reach this number.

For some, though, Jeter’s wonderful success was not the most noteworthy event to happen during that game.  It seems at least just as much attention has been paid to Christian Lopez, the 23-year-old man who caught Jeter’s ball and returned it to the player.  Lopez stood to make thousands, if not millions, from selling the collector’s item.  Instead, he insisted that Jeter had the right to own such an important memento from his career and gave it back.  Lopez has been thanked for this selfless act with season tickets and numerous autographed items.

I often write about giving back and doing the right thing.  After reading many articles about Lopez’s decision, it seems like the conclusion is split as to whether or not he made the right decision.  Some have argued that Lopez could have helped his family and secured his future with that ball, using money that would mean little to someone of Jeter’s wealth.  Others have said, just as Lopez did himself, that it isn’t about money but about recognizing a man’s accomplishment and giving him the credit he deserves.

I have already established on my blog that I am a lifelong Yankee fan, but I would give the ball back  even if I wasn’t.  I just feel that is the right thing to do.

What do you think?  If you saw a ball heading your way that you knew was easily worth a quarter of a million dollars, would you be able to hand it over?  Or, would you have not blamed Lopez at all if he had made a different decision and we were watching the bidding wars on Ebay right now?

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