Mr. Baseball: Fans Rush To Grab Memorabilia After Jeter Hits 3,000
After Yankees SS Derek Jeter collected his 3,000th hit during Saturday's game against the Rays, lines at Yankee Stadium "numbered in the hundreds from the third inning on, with fans lining up to buy anything Jeter-related to commemorate the historic moment," according to Mark La Monica of NEWSDAY. It was "mayhem" inside the Yankees' team store soon after Jeter's third-inning home run. Workers "stood in the middle of the madness, with tables of Jeter merchandise surrounding them." Boxes of "pre-printed keepsake Yankees Magazine issues couldn't get hauled out of elevators fast enough." Yankees President Randy Levine said, "It's unbelievable. I've never seen anything like this. So far, just on one day, this is exceeding World Series sales" (NEWSDAY, 7/10). SPORTING NEWS' Sean Deveney noted on Saturday at the "two entrances of the team's main store behind home plate, fans stood in lines that stretched about 100 yards combined just to enter the shop." Once inside, the "aisles of the store were packed" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 7/9).
CASHING IN ON THE MOMENT: On Long Island, Jeremy Schneider reports the Modell's Sporting Goods in Farmingdale, N.Y., starting selling commemorative memorabilia within 15 minutes of Jeter's 3,000th hit. Store employees "pulled scores of T-shirts, hats and other souvenirs out of the storage room and onto the main rack near the entrance." Even before Saturday's game finished, "fans were pouring into the store, eager to snatch up 3,000th-hit gear." Schneider notes the "original plan was to start selling the gear once the game became official, after 4 1/2 innings," but when Yankee Stadium "began selling Jeter memorabilia immediately, Modell's got in on the action" (NEWSDAY, 7/11). Steiner's Sports Chair Brandon Steiner said that his company "has 24 bases and 42 baseballs from the game," and Jeter "will sign much of that memorabilia." Dirt from the Yankee Stadium infield "also goes to Steiner, as does one of the two original lineup cards." Steiner on Saturday said, "This is the biggest day in our company's history. The phones here have crashed twice so far. The kind of weight this guy carries is amazing" (NEWSDAY, 7/10). Meanwhile, Movado on Saturday launched a special edition watch to celebrate brand ambassador Jeter's 3,000th hit. Only 300 of the watches are packaged in a sleeve accompanied by a thank you note from Jeter, retailing for $550. Movado will donate $100 from each sale to Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation (Movado). On Long Island, Neil Best reported orders are being taken for "The Official Major League Baseball Derek Jeter Limited Marquee Edition Opus." There will be 222 copies printed of the 75-pound, 790-page book, which sells for $4,500 (NEWSDAY.com, 7/9).
SUMMER CATCH: In N.Y., Sam Borden reported after Yankees fan Christian Lopez caught Jeter's 3,000th hit, he was "whisked away by security guards, who took him to a room in the bowels of Yankee Stadium where a trade for the historic ball could be discussed." Despite the "potential monetary value of the ball, Lopez made it clear he was not interested in profiting from his good fortune." The Yankees "responded in kind, giving Lopez four Champions Suite season tickets for every remaining home game this season, including the playoffs." He also received "front-row seats for Sunday’s game, three bats signed by Jeter, three balls signed by Jeter and two autographed Jeter jerseys" (NYTIMES.com, 7/9).