The sports press is all about reporting and re reporting how great a guy the 23 year-old who caught Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit ball is for giving Derek back his bally. And the whole time I’m thinking, yeah he’s a great guy, but what about Derek Jeter, he’s a great guy too. Why doesn’t someone ask Derek why he didn’t tell the kid to keep the ball and go cash in?
Humans are crazy for junk man. The ball, the actual one Derek got his 3000th hit with, isn’t worth anything, nothing, zilch, to Derek Jeter, or the Hall of Fame.
Set the ball on Derek’s kitchen table and what happens? It sets there. Great. Give the ball to the Lopez boy and boom, it’s a house with no mortgage. Derek gives the ball back to the Lopez boy and Babe Ruth hitting a home run for the sick kid doesn’t seem like all that great big a deal anymore.
Why the heck dose Derek need the actual ball? He’s got a brand new 35,000 square foot mansion in Tampa Fl, which he’s more than earned and should enjoy. Hell, he should enjoy a 60,000 square foot house if he wants, if you ask me. If you’ve earned your money, paid your bills, and not hurt anyone, frigged if I’m one to care what you’re spending your money on. If I had riches like a Jeter or Harrison Ford, you’re danged right I’d have a mansion. I’d have me a bedroom bigger than the house I live in now, which is 3000 square feet, just a shack.
So no, this isn’t a Derek Jeter bashing column. No no. I’m a fan. I think he’s quite something, really, a once in a lifetime athlete / person, whose name will carry as much or more heft then Gehrig, Ali, and Jordan. In fact, when folks complain athletes like Jeter are paid too much I will always stick up for the player. Cripes man, Derek Jeter will be dead and buried long before the Yankees quit selling $200.00 Jeter jerseys. The Yankees will make more money off Derek after he retires from playing then the sum of all his contracts, or my name ain’t DeWees.
Instead of a Jeter bashing article it’s an article in support of what kind of guy I perceive Jeter to be which is, great. That’s why I’m curious as to why he didn’t just turn the ball back over to the Lopez boy instead of keeping it and allowing it to collect dust in a fancy memorabilia case next to all the rest of his career chazzerai (KHA-ze-rye)/junk.
As cool a guy as Jeter is, he’s seemingly no different from the rest of us crazies who’ll put value on an object that is worthless, over putting all the value on what the worthless object represents.
So, why didn’t Derek, especially since he’s mister perspective, give the ball back to the guy? Why didn’t he say, “Hey man, thanks for offering me back the ball, but you know what, my hits stand on record, I don’t need the actual friggin ball. You keep it buddy, make a couple hunny K off it and buy yourself a home, or your ma and pa a car, or invest it.” Now that would have been something to hurrah Derek Jeter’s name about.
You heard that the Yankees hooked Lopez up with a bunch of game tickets. One of the games he’s at the Yankees are letting him watch from a VIP suite with a bunch of friends. That’s rather nice of the Yankees. But I think so much of Derek Jeter, I got half a mind Derek hooked the Lopez dude up privately, in his own way, and not just by signing balls and bats, I think Derek dropped some heavy green on the kid, under the conditions the kid tell no one. That’s sounds like something a good guy like Jeter would do – and I got half a mind he did.