Posted tagged ‘Derek Jeter’

Fan who caught Jeter 3,000 hit will get his own Topps baseball card

July 14, 2011

Via AP:

The fan who returned Derek Jeter’s ball from his 3,000th hit will get a bit of memorabilia to keep — his own baseball card.

Topps says it will produce a trading card featuring Christian Lopez that will be included in sets later this year.

“We thought what he did captures the essence of what baseball and the Topps company is about,” said Mark Sapir, Topps vice president for sports.

The recent college graduate with outstanding student loans will get some financial help, too.

Memorabilia dealer Brandon Steiner and sporting goods CEO Mitch Modell said they will make sure Lopez gets at least $50,000 toward his outstanding student loans of $150,000.

Steiner said he got a call on Wednesday from his buddy Modell, and they got the ball rolling. Steiner set up an auction of memorabilia that eventually will include baseballs signed by both Lopez and Jeter and said Modell is pledging 5 percent from the sale of Yankees-related merchandise at the Modell’s chain during what will be called “Christian Lopez Week.”

“That itself is a totally awesome situation right now for all parties involved,” Lopez said.

What impressed the sports executives — as well as countless fans across the country — was the way a 23-year-old mobile phone salesman passed on the chance to sell the ball.

Instead, Lopez gave the ball to Jeter, saying he deserved to have the keepsake.

“Can you believe how good a mensch this kid was?” Steiner said.

Lopez has been overrun with requests since Saturday.

“It’s been overwhelming to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s been a little crazy. But I’m handling it as best I can. I’m trying to get back to everybody I can.”

That includes Topps.

“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.”

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Lopez was an avid collector as a kid. He said he has “probably a couple thousand baseball cards.”

His favorite? A Yankees card, of course. It depicts Babe Ruth and one of the Yankees’ owners at the time he came over from the Red Sox in 1920.

“It’s a very dear card to me. I’ve had it for 15 years now or so,” Lopez said.

Now he’ll have another Yankees card to keep next to it.

This is awesome because the guy is a class act. He did one tremendous deed and he is getting repaid with tickets, memorabilia, and now his own baseball card! That’s a big deal. I know as a huge baseball card collector that being on the card itself is a huge deal to any player let alone a fan. The best part about this is that he makes one catch on a lucky day and now he is not only a celebrity but a star in New York. That’s why it’s the Empire State folks…

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Video: A Look back at Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hit day

July 11, 2011

Here is a video about Jeter’s 3,000 hit game against the Rays:

The Yankees George “The Boss” Steinbrenner dies at 80

July 19, 2010

Last week was a wild week and nothing as surprising as the Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died the day of the All Star game, July 13th at the age of 80. The cause of death was a heart attack. Steinbrenner was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla., and died at about 6:30 a.m. ET, according to reports.

He was a legend himself in the new Yankee Stadium

When the  New York Yankees lost their legendary owner, this is what people had to say about his legacy:

“George was ‘The Boss,’ make no mistake,” Hall of Famer. “He built the Yankees into champions, and that’s something nobody can ever deny. He was a very generous, caring, passionate man. George and I had our differences, but who didn’t? We became great friends over the last decade and I will miss him very much.” – Yogi Berra

“He was and always will be as much of a New York Yankee as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and all of the other Yankee legends,” baseball. “Although we would have disagreements over the years, they never interfered with our friendship and commitment to each other. Our friendship was built on loyalty and trust and it never wavered.” – MLB commissioner Bud Selig

“It’s a difficult time, on a great day for baseball, the All-Star Game, something everyone looks to,” Yankees and AL manager. “A great man in baseball passed. He’s meant so much to not only this organization, but to the game of baseball, and to all of us personally.” – Yankees Manager Joe Girardi

“Few people have had a bigger impact on New York over the past four decades than George Steinbrenner.”  “George had a deep love for New York, and his steely determination to succeed combined with his deep respect and appreciation for talent and hard work made him a quintessential New Yorker.” – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“I think he’s a father figure to everyone that was in our organization in the past or present, because he really took care of his players.” I remember my first, second year, I was on third base and got doubled off on a line drive in the infield and we won the game. After the game he was yelling at me for, ‘Don’t ever get doubled off again. We won the game, but he expected perfection, and that rubbed off. And whether it was the players, the front office, the people working at the stadium, didn’t make a difference. He expected perfection.” – Yankees Shortstop Derek Jeter

…These quotes are just so powerful…

In 37-plus seasons as owner, Steinbrenner led the Yankees to seven World Series championships, 11 American League pennants and 16 AL East titles.

New York was 11 years removed from its last championship when he headed a group that bought the team from CBS Inc. on Jan. 3, 1973, for about 10 million dollars.

He revolutionized the Yankee franchise and the world of sports by starting his own television network and ballpark food company. Forbes now values the Yankees at $1.6 billion, trailing only Manchester United ($1.8 billion) and the Dallas Cowboys ($1.65 billion).

The Steinbrenner family said that funeral arrangements will be private. However, details about an additional public service will be announced at a later date.

Flags were lowered to half-staff at New York’s City Hall and a marquee outside the $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium  “the house that George built” to honor “George M. Steinbrenner III, 1930-2010.”

…Wow, a Yankees Legend dies on a very special night of the All Star game. It was a very sad day that Tuesday night and the Yankees organization and the whole ballclub handled the situation well and the honor ceremony (below) before the game against the Rays at the Stadium hit my heart very deep. The class man himself Derek Jeter said a beautiful speech along with the flowers at home plate by Mariano “Mo” Rivera and the moment of silence just touched baseball fans all around the world…

…The man created a dynasty and a world of entertainment. He did some of the most amusing things by firing and hiring managers like Billy Martin and creating the Yankees from a team of scrubs to a team of legends again. It’s something no other owner in other sport has done and he is going to be missed dearly. I will miss his amusing remarks, new stadiums, and dream teams. He created the Yankees to the Bankees and I don’t think that will change anytime soon…

For more on this story and future developments go to ESPN.com and Yankees.com