If it hasn’t already, the name Christian Lopez will eventually become a household name associated with Derek Jeter’s historic pursuit of 3,000 hits. Lopez bought a seat at a Yankees game and ended up with a winning lottery ticket. Rather than cashing it in and collecting the six figures worth of money he could have demanded for it, Lopez gave Jeter’s 3,000th hit back to him and asked for nothing in return. Naturally, Jeter and the Yankees hooked him up anyway.
The gifts haven’t stopped rolling in since. Mark Sapir, Topps baseball card company’s vice president for sports, said on Wednesday that Topps plans to create a trading card featuring Lopez that will be included in sets later this year.
Perhaps more importantly, Lopez will also be getting help paying off his outstanding student loans, which total around $150,000. Memorabilia dealer Brandon Steiner and CEO Mitch Modell of Modell’s Sporting Goods stores have put together a plan that will pay at least $50,000 of Lopez’s loans. The money will be raised through a memorabilia auction and a sale at Modell’s called “Christian Lopez Week,” during which Lopez will be given five percent of the sale of Yankee-related merchandise.
Lopez is slowly becoming the most viable living opponent to the phrase “nice guys finish last.” Either he is one of the smartest businessmen in America and knew what the future held if he returned the ball, or he picked the right day to showcase his generosity. I think it’s safe to say Lopez is happy with his decision.Google+
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