No good deed goes unpunished indeed -- the man who gave back Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit baseball could now be hit with a huge tax bill.
Christian Lopez was the lucky fan who caught the home run that Jeter hit for his 3000th hit last Saturday. Instead of keeping the ball and selling it to the highest bidde, which could have fetched anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000,000, Lopez selflessly gave it back.
In return, the Yankees gave him a luxury suite for the rest of the season, as well as some autographed bats, balls and jerseys. The prize package is worth roughly $32,000.
According to the New York Daily News, the IRS could tax all of that as income, and hit Lopez with a tax bill ranging from $5,000 to $13,000.
“Worse comes to worse, I’ll have to pay the taxes,” Lopez told the News. “I’m not going to return the seats. I have a lot of family and friends who’ll help me out if need be.”
He added, “The IRS has a job to do, so I’m not going to hold it against them, but it would be cool if they helped me out a little on this.”
It would also be cool -- not to mention the right thing to do -- if the Yankees or Derek Jeter helped him out as well. Lopez is a 23-year-old customer sales representative for Verizon, so he is not a wealthy man. He could have held onto the ball and sold it for big bucks – some estimates say it could have sold for upwards of a million dollars. Lopez did the right thing – hopefully the Yankees will, too.