Christian Lopez: Jeter milestone ball ‘not about the money’
While many who bought tickets from the secondary market for Friday’s game were disappointed at a rainout, Christian Lopez was anticipating witnessing history by Derek Jeter.
“When he got to 2,298, hopefully yesterday it will be rained out,” Lopez said. “I thought we might see history tomorrow and I was pumped. The whole purpose of me coming to the game was for history and to be actually being a part of it now is just crazy.”
Lopez and Jeter’s paths met when his girlfriend purchased a $65 seat off Stub Hub for his birthday in the left field bleachers. Lopez caught the ball easily and smothered it — along with his father — to protect himself from the hands of other fans.
Lopez, a 23-year-old cell phone salesman for Verizon from Highland Hills, NY, met with Yankee officials to discuss a trade. Lopez, though, wanted nothing except to return the ball to Jeter.
In return for the ball, the Yankees gave Lopez four tickets in the suite level for all remaining home games, including playoff games. He also will sit in the front row of the Legends Suite section for Sunday’s game while receiving a variety of Yankee memorabilia.
“It wasn’t about the money,” Lopez said. “It was a milestone. I’m not going to take it away from him.”
Follow Larry Fleisher on Twitter @larryfleisher.