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Lopez Will Get Topps Card, Tax Bill Paid

A double dose of good news for the fan who passed up an auction payday in order to give Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit ball back to the future Hall of Fame shortstop.

Miller High Life is offering to cover the tax bill of New Yorker Christian Lopez and Topps says it’ll allow the 23-year-old cell phone salesman the chance to appear on his own baseball card and pick a picture to be used on one of Jeter’s cards.

Instead of trying to cash in on his acquisition, Lopez returned the milestone ball to Jeter on Saturday.  Auction houses predicted the ball could have sold for between $150,000 and $200,000.

Still, he faced a tax bill that could have reached into the thousands because the team is hooking him up with autographed Jeter memorabilia and game tickets, on which he now may ultimately have to pay taxes.

“Miller High Life believes you should be rewarded for doing the right thing, not penalized,” said Brand Manager Brendan Noonan. “We want to recognize Christian Lopez, and in turn everyone like him, for doing the common sense thing and help him continue to live the High Life.”

In addition to offering to cover Lopez’s tax burden as a result of the returned ball, Miller High Life is also offering to throw a common sense celebration in Lopez’s honor including free beer for him and his legal-drinking-age friends.

Lopez appeared at a Times Square press conference Wednesday with Steiner Sports and Modell’s.  Those two companies say they’ll kick in at least $25,000 apiece to pay off what Lopez says is $100,000 worth of student loans.

Topps also said said it would put Lopez into its baseball products later this year and allow him to have a part in the creation of one of Jeter’s cards in the 2012 Topps Series One issue.

“Christian Lopez is the perfect role model and embodies everything that is right in baseball,” said Mark Sapir, Topps VP.  “Topps is proud to be able to help support this young man and place his rookie card right next to all of today’s legends.”

“Christian Lopez is the perfect role model and embodies everything that is right in baseball,” said Mark Sapir, Topps VP.  “Topps is proud to be able to help support this young man and place his rookie card right next to all of today’s legends.”

Lopez said he was an avid collector as a youngster.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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  1. [...] fans in the know.  If Harper is lucky, the person who winds up with it will have the heart of Christian Lopez, who latched on to Derek Jeter's 30o0th hit ball and gave it back.  At least he did get a Topps [...]

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