Yankee Fan Who Caught Derek Jeter Ball May Be in Pickle With IRS

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Derek Jeter Fan May Be Hit With Tax Bill

The issue of tax ramifications following fans catching historic baseballs was addressed by the IRS in 1998 when the agency released a statement specifically addressing fans that catch home run balls and return them immediately. It stated that generally fans will not be taxed under these circumstances. This, however, only applies to the ball, and not to the tickets and memorabilia that Lopez received afterwards.

Lopez was sitting with his father, girlfriend and two family friends in the left field corner bleachers of Yankee Stadium Saturday night when Jeter's 3,000th hit end up in his hands. Lopez said catching the ball was "surreal."

"I really didn't get the full grasp of it until after the game ? I thought 'this is craziness.' My stomach was in my throat," said Lopez, who lives in Highland Mills, N.Y.

His girlfriend Tara Johnson, who went to St. Lawrence College in New York with him, got him the tickets for the big game.

"When I had the idea of buying the tickets, I wasn't even thinking about [the 3,000th hit]," said Johnson. She said Lopez has promised to bring her to as many games as she can make.

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