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mr. 3000

Ball That Derek Jeter Fouled Off Before His 3,000th Hit to Go Up for Auction

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 09:  Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees waves to the fans after a game in which he hit his 3000th career hit while playing against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on July 9, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

You cannot buy Derek Jeter's 3,000th-hit ball, because good guy Christian Lopez returned it to Jeter rather than trying to sell it. But starting tomorrow, you will be able to buy ... one of the balls Jeter fouled off right before collecting his milestone hit. Steven P. Picciano, a 60-year-old Yankees fan from Nutley, New Jersey, caught the ball that Jeter fouled off two pitches before his big hit, and tomorrow it goes on the auction block. (The auction house selling the ball, by the way, proclaims it "The greatest modern New York Yankees event ball ever publically offered.") Says the president of the auction house to the Daily News: "It's from the same at-bat, and an actual game ball," adding, "It was very close to being the ball." So consider this your big chance to own what was very close to being a piece of history, kind of. [NYDN, Bob's Blitz]

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Photo: Michael Heiman/Getty Images