Big League Stew - MLB

The man who returned Derek Jeter's(notes) 3,000th hit to the New York Yankees doesn't seem to be sweating the thousands of dollars in taxes he might owe as a result.

Considering all of the friends Christian Lopez has made in the past few days, it appears he doesn't need to worry. He even is getting the rare honor of having his very own baseball card made by Topps!

As shown in the video below, Lopez appeared on the "Today" show Wednesday morning and was grilled (not really) by Matt Lauer, Al Roker and the gang about what he would do if the IRS taxes him for the gifts he received from the Yankees in exchange for returning the historic ball Jeter hit Sunday:

Yankees tickets and signed Jeter memorabilia are worth a lot of money, after all. Lopez has said all along that he didn't want anything for the ball — other than for Jeter to have it.

"I'm trying to stay away from that situation now," Lopez said. "I'm trying to just enjoy the moment. I mean, if I get taxed, I get taxed. ... But'll cross that bridge when I get to it."

That's just Christian being Christian.

And the business world has his back. Companies already are stepping up to support Lopez, a mobile phone salesman who says he has $100,000 in student loans to play back, plus the other typical bills of your (above) average 23-year-old.

Darren Rovell of CNBC reports that Miller High Life has offered to pay any potential tax hit, which could be more than $10,000 on the roughly $60,000-$75,000 in stuff Lopez has received so far. They'll also throw him a free beer party! Now that's livin' the high life.

But the beer company isn't Lopez's only guardian angel. Modells, a sporting goods company, is announcing that it will put a program in place to help pay for any costs that come Lopez's way.

This is what happens when you do the kind thing instead of trying to squeeze $250,000 out of the ball at a big, cynical money-grubbing auction.

Hooray for altruism!

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