One of the big stories in Major League Baseball this year was Derek Jeter hitting his 3,000th hit. After a lot of anticipation, a trip to the 15-day disabled list for his calf, and a monstrous 5-for-5 day, the record was his after he blasted a his first home run in Yankee Stadium this year, on July 9th. What makes it more amazing is that the person who caught it, Christian Lopez, gave it back . For his kindness, and passing up of probably $250,000 according to some estimates, he gets four seats to every game for the rest of the season, signed merchandise, and the opportunity to meet Derek Jeter. $250,000 is a lot of money but remember these are die hard fans and he wins the adoration of a lot of people too.
Unfortunately, if the seats and the memorabilia aren’t considered gifts, he’ll have to pay around $14,000  in taxes on it. To his credit, Lopez has said he’ll pay whatever he’s supposed to pay.
I personally think that he should have to pay taxes on it, that’s just how the system works. However, I think that MLB or the Yankees should give him enough cash to cover it (I originally wrote this Wednesday morning, since then a bunch of folks have seized the opportunity to help  pay taxes, his student loans, etc.). It’s a lot like when Oprah Winfrey gave away all those cars. She gave away 276 Pontiac G-Six cars to her audience and anyone who got one was to owe $7,000 in taxes on the sticker price of $28,500. In that case, Oprah and Pontiac didn’t pay the taxes (paying out an additional $1,932,000 to cover taxes does seem a little too generous) but Oprah did learn her lesson and in her all-expenses-paid Australian trip giveaway, she did pay for the taxes.
What do you think?
(Photo: sf9067 )