Fans lucky enough to score tickets for this weekend's New York Yankees series against the Tampa Bay Rays have a ground-rule double's chance of making a killing if they catch Derek Jeter's historic 3,000th hit. Collectors would be willing to pay as much as $250,000 for the prized ball, according to a report in the New York Post.
Fans shouldn't get their hopes of paying off their mortgages or getting a Yankees premium box-seat season ticket (and a couple of hot dogs) just yet. The chances are slim that the ball will even make it into the stands. Jeter has only smacked two home-runs this season and the only other option (and a better one) for a hit into the stands would be a ball that bounces from the outfield or baseline into the seats.
Jeter has 11 doubles so far this season and hit one last night in Cleveland.
Collectors should be on the lookout for fakes. Steiner Sports-- a major sponsor of the Yankees and major supplier of team collectibles --has a contract to sell five gallons of dirt from the Yankee infield Jeter will step on the day of the sacred hit. Order your vials now and know your dirt.
"Derek Jeter is always worth a premium in everything he does," said Brandon Steiner, president of Steiner Sports. " His status among fans is unmatched, and this is one of the biggest moments of his career."
While anxious fans wait for Jeter's historic hit, and others hope for a big payday, chances are The Captain will have the ball handed over to him by an opposing player. And you know Jeter is going to hold that ball closer than Minka Kelly.
"Derek will probably keep his bat and glove," said Steiner. "He is still deciding what he wants or doesn't want."
This hit means everything to the life-long Yankees shortstop. Think about it. Jeter is the first, in a long line of Yankees greats, to achieve this measure of greatness.
The sixteen year veteran will be the first Yankee in history to reach the 3,000 hit plateau-- and he got every single one wearing pinstripes. No other New York Yankees player-- not Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio or Mantle-- can lay claim to that fact.
In 2007, after Alex Rodriguez hit his milestone 500th home-run at the old Yankee Stadium, there were estimates the ball could sell for as much as $500,000. Last February, the ball sold for $103,579.
A-Rod is no Jeter in Yankee Nation's eyes.
The Yankees say not everything will be sold but expect collectors to be picking Jeter's esteemed carcass clean.
Bases will go for at least $7,500 each and signed game balls will grab at least $2,500 and then there are photos and bats...
Count on the prices to go up.