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Monday, July 11, 2011

Moral Conundrum: Jeter's 3000th Hit Baseball

Yankee Derek Jeter with his 3000th hit
I'm the first to admit that I'm not a huge baseball fan. The games are too slow, too long and could benefit from instant replay. But this post is only tangentially about America's favorite past time. It has to do with a moral conundrum.

This past weekend, Derek Jeter - shortstop for the New York Yankees - became the 28th player in Major League Baseball history to have his 3000th career hit at bat. That is a significant achievement. What made the milestone even more memorable was that it occurred at Yankee Stadium and it was also a home run. Awesome!

The home run was caught by a 24-year old Yankees' fan named Christian Lopez. When the game was over, Lopez voluntarily returned the ball to the team to give to Jeter. The Yankees responded by giving Lopez box seats for the rest of the games at home as well as an assortment of autographed bats, jerseys, ball caps and gloves.

Here's the conundrum, was Lopez obligated to return the historic ball to Jeter - why or why not? What would you have done?

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