It was really nice of Christian Lopez to give Derek Jeter back the homerun ball that happened to be his 3,000th hit, but apparently no good deed goes unpunished.
The New york Times has reported that the 23-year-old could face a monumental tax bill as the result of the rewards the Yankees offered him for returning the ball. The AP originally reported that Lopez received season tickets, front row seats to last sunday's game, and other goods in return for the ball.
The New York Daily News also reported that he received a ball hand-signed by Derek Jeter.
As it turns out, all of these things are taxable, unless they are considered a gift.
From Fox Sports:
When valuing all of the goods, Lopez - who told the Times that he owes more than $100,000 in student loans - could be in line for a heavy bill from the IRS. The Times cited Steven Bandini, a tax partner at the accounting firm Zapken & Loeb, who said that a modest valuation of $50,000 for all of the items would likely mean a roughly $14,000 tax liability.
Whether or not Lopez's seemingly miraculous nab (according to the Daily News the swarm of fans who went after the ball was immense) ends up costing him remains to be seen, but if it does, he's willing to pay.
"Worse comes to worse, I'll have to pay the taxes," he told the Daily News. "I'm not going to return the seats. I have a lot of family and friends who will help me out if need be.
UPDATE: It seems a number of companies have come to Lopez's aid, including Miller High Life and Modell's Sporting Goods, according to ESPN. Modell's will donate a portion of the proceeds from all Yankees merchandise sold July 13-19 to Lopez so he can pay the taxes as well as his college debt.