Sunday, October 02, 2011

Jeter 3K fan at the Stadium for his first ever Yankee playoff game

10/2/11, "The famous Yankees fan who caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit was at the Stadium last night for his first playoff game - and hopes he'll be returning for the World Series.

"I hope they can go all the way," said Christian Lopez, 23, who entered Yankees lore after catching the home run Jeter hit over the left field wall in July.

"I've never been to a World Series game or any playoff game," Lopez said before yesterday's game against the Detroit Tigers. "I'm super pumped."

Lopez's date with destiny came as he was sitting in the bleachers when the Yankee shortstop drove a 3-2 pitch toward him. Lopez fell on the bouncing ball and then his father, Raul, threw himself atop his son to protect him - and the ball - from the surging crowd.

The super fan was taken to meet Jeter after the game and instead of asking for a massive payment - one he surely could have received on the sports memorabilia market - he simply turned the ball over to the future Hall of Famer.

That gracious gesture made him a household name - and earned him four tickets for every Yankee game left this season, including the playoffs....

Lopez, who now lives in Astoria and works for Modell's, says his celebrity hasn't worn off with fans, who still recognize him and want to take pictures with him.

"People are still recognizing me," he said. "It's still pretty cool.""...

10/1/11, "Yankees fan who caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit catches first-ever Bombers playoff victory," NY Daily News, M. Feeney, photo NY Daily News

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