I'm working on a halfway point post on the Pirates right now, but in the meantime, I'm interested in everyone's take on the big national story from over the weekend, Jeter's 3,000th hit and the guy who returned it.
As you no doubt have heard, Jeter hit a homer for his 3,000th career hit and a 23-year-old fan caught it. Instead of keeping it to auction off for what some project would have been as much as $250,000, he returned the ball in exchange for some memorabilia and tickets, saying that he felt Jeter deserved it.
I know it's a cliche question at this point as it has been debated all over the radio and internet all weekend, but it's an interesting question nonetheless: what would you have done?
The easy answer is that it's too valuable to just give away. Not that I'd want to be greedy, but that's a lot of money for someone who has college payments, a mortgage, perhaps children who you need to send to college, etc. You may love Jeter, but he's made hundreds of millions of dollars over his career and dates Minka Kelly, so there's not much reason to feel that you need to do the right thing by him. If he wants it so much, he can bid the $250k on it himself.
On the other hand, I want to have it both ways. I'd love to be the guy being gushed over around the country as the sterling example of how greed doesn't drive every decision in this culture of ours. I'd easily pay a good chunk of money to receive that kind of admiration and adulation.
So, that being said, I think I'd try to work a behind-the-scenes deal. Ask to speak to Jeter and say, "Hey, I'm going to give you this ball back so we all look good, but remember that I've got kids to send to school. Take care of me." And also go to the Yankees and say, "A half season of season tickets is pretty nice, but I think a lifetime of tickets would be better." I'd be willing to take a pretty good discount in order to also be seen as some sort of latter day Mother Theresa, but not so willing that I'd forgo enough money to make the rest of my life easier.