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David Price signs deal to autograph Derek Jeter’s 3,000th items

Generous fan Christian Lopez may be getting all the headlines, but David Price(notes) will not be the forgotten man from Derek Jeter's(notes) 3,000th hit.

At least not from a memorabilia standpoint. The talented Tampa Bay Rays pitcher has signed a deal with collectibles company Steiner Sports to sign baseballs and pictures with an inscription of "I gave up DJ's 3K." Price surrendered Jeter's 3,000th career hit last Saturday, giving up a full-count home run to the left-field stands at Yankee Stadium.

Now he'll get a nice bonus for finding himself on the wrong side of history — a profit that other victim pitchers like Mike Bacsik (Barry Bonds' 756th) and Ralph Branca (Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round The World) have also turned.

From the St. Pete Times:

Price said he didn't know how many items he would sign. Asked if "lucrative" was a fair description for the deal, he said, "That's good.''

I'm sure that some people will have a problem with this endorsement and I do find it a little curious that a pitcher of Price's caliber would associate himself with what many consider to be a moment of failure on his part.

At the same time, being the pitcher for another player's personal milestone is more or less a completely random act and Price really has no reason to be ashamed of being on the mound for that moment. If he wasn't there, it would have been someone else and in no way is it a reflection of his pitching abilities. Do the other hundreds of pitchers who have allowed Jeter a hit go around hanging their heads in shame?

In reality, Price was just a tad  more important to the situation — but not by much — than the game's right fielder or the hot dog vendor. If someone really wants to pay him for the coincidence of being on the mound for Jeter's large and round number, why not take the money and run?

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