The suspense was over...

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The suspense was over...

...with the second at bat of the afternoon by New York Yankees shortstop and Captain Derek Jeter in his quest for his 3,000th base hit.

After fouling off a pair of 3-2 pitches, Jeter drove a curveball into the left field stands for a solo home run.

With that, he became the first player in the fabled franchise's history, and 28th in Major League history, to reach the milestone plateau.

Jeter didn't draw this event out, getting right to business with a 1st inning single and finish­ing the day going 5-for-5 and driving in the eventual winning run in the 8th.

I've never been a fan of the Yankees or of any of the players in pin-stripes, but Jeter did this right... he didn't just hang around until he got number 3,000.

(By comparison, pitcher Early Wynn entered the 1961 season 16 wins shy of 300... and didn't get it, at age 43, for another two-plus years. It was painful.)

Sports fans are a fickle sort, and in his prime Jeter could have run against Michael Bloom­berg and been elected Mayor of New York, but his popularity has been on the wane of late.

Not so this past week as he quickly closed on on 3,000.

Capping off his otherwise extraordinary after­noon, the bum made the third out of the 8th on attempted steal of second base.


1. Jeanne Speir said...

What a class act!

Congratulations, Derek Jeter.

2. Eileen Dover said...

Can't believe the guy who caught the ball handed it over! Jeter has hundreds of millions of dollars. I'm sure he would have forked over $500,000 for the ball. He had the winning lottery ticket right in his hand and tore it up! Oh wait... He was a super nice guy... that's what I meant to say....

I think it's safe to assume that young Christian Lopez bleeds Yankees pin-stripe, #1, and, #2, is going to be seeing a lot of basabool from complimentary box seats for the remainder of this season.

Something to ponder though: is there a tax consequence to Señor Lopez' "windfall" swag: the seats and the autographed bats, balls and jerseys?

O, and a businessman who deals in sports memorabilia estimates that the ball could have fetched as much $250,000, so some meanie in IRS will likely use that as a baseline for computing the fan's tax bill.

3. Crabby said...

Oh, that's just awful to think.

Wait, if the ball is worth in excess of a quarter mill, and he donated it, a loss, I doubt the Yankee tickets would match the worth of the ball; therefore the guy should get an IRS refund for being such a good egg and die-hard Yankees fan to boot.

I hope the Yankee accountants get to work on this and save the fella from catastrophic debt.

Me too!

4. Jim Cordo said...

Congratulations Jeter!

Ok, I gotta say it, that fan was an ass.

I can't believe he did that. What was he thinking? How does his family and girlfriend feel about it? That was a house and/or a few college educations. If my wife did that... "to the moon."

I understand that he is a good guy that made generous gesture but I would bet he is having second thoughts today.

If he felt that strongly that Jeter get that ball, he could forgo the auction route and offer it to Jeter exclusively for a "fair price," set by Jeter himself. Leave it up to him to decide what its worth. To a guy like Jeter, who by my calculation has signed for a total of about one quarter of a billion dollars in his career not counting endorsements and who could easily spend $250,000 for a birthday bash for his lady, would have paid a fair price. Especially with the world watching. The fan is still a good guy and everybody is happy.

When we got married, my wife Giselle and I went to Mexico for a long honeymoon. We were offered a super deluxe champagne brunch to view a time-share in the 4-star compound where we were staying. (4 restaurants, some time-share buildings on the water, bull rings and next to the real dock that "The Loveboat" docked and was filmed.) Everything was beautiful and the champagne flowed and the food was superb. Feeling great and absolutely certain, we signed a contract that would allow us to revisit our honeymoon spot over and over. What bliss. The next day when we woke up and saw that contract and credit card receipt for our deposit and whatnot, we had serious buyer's remorse. It was an obviously crappy deal without the booze clouding our judgement. I felt stupid. Later we met a local guy who explained to us that the time-share deal was a common semi-scam. The booze, food, sunshine and beautiful people that you are plied with is very effective. He also told me that on all these deals there was a 24 or 48 hour (I can't exactly recall) period where you could cancel the deal without any penalty. Within the hour we did exactly that.

This fan should be given the same chance to back out of his deal with Jeter imho. The practice of "ushering" the lucky recipients of these milestone baseballs into clubhouses where they are allowed to talk to players and executives offering special seats and TV time and so on. It reminds me of that "champagne breakfast" from years ago. Just sayin'.

Hey, leave'im alone! He gets to go into the Sports Fan Hall of Fame, and he didn't do it by interfering with a ball-in-play that cost anyone the game or a play-ff series.

5. Hampton West said...

I understand the kid has student loans; Perhaps Derrick can pay them off for him.

If his student loans aren't of concern to him, what should Jeter step up. The kid'll go through life thinking someone's always going to bail him out.

6. Hampton West said...

Getting anybody out of debt is a good thing. The kid could have kept the ball and auctioned it off for whatever amount - I heard as high as $250,000 - and paid off his student loan debts. Instead he did the right thing and gave the ball back - baseball tickets aside, what better monetary gift is there to a 23-year-old? I don't know how much he has outstanding (he did mention at his press conference he had loans) but these kids are coming out of school deep in the financial hole. Jeter makes about $85,000 a game, help the kid out in a good way.

It's probably too late at this stage of the "game" [npi], but the young man is a fan, and has set an example from which a great many Major Leaguers... hey!, professional athletes in every discipline... could take a lesson!

The title of that wonderful HBO series of baseball documentaries encapsulates it very nicely: "When It Was A Game." Too many of them have lost sight of that.

The great-hitting third baseman George Brett played 21 seasons with the same team, all on one-year contracts and without a single hold-out or salary squabble.

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