Everything Derek Jeter touches—and steps on—is turning to gold. The Yankees captain is poised to knock his 3,000th career hit in the coming weeks, and the memorabilia industry is prepping to cash in on commemorative merchandise from T-shirts and hats to authentic dirt from the stadium where the shortstop hits the milestone, reports the New York Times.
When Jeter reaches 3,000—expected to be a few days after he returns from a calf injury on June 29—an authenticator for Major League Baseball will be on-hand to scoop up five gallons of dirt from the batter's box and the shortstop area where Jeter fields. Tablespoons will be poured into keychains, plaques, bats, and more. “That bucket of dirt will go a long way,” says the head of a New York memorabilia company. Jeter will control what happens to his cleats, batting gloves, wristbands, and bats, but the Yankees get to decide what happens to his uniform and stadium artifacts. A licensing rep for the league says, "Other than the home run race in 1998, this is the most significant business we’ve done for a hot market for a player.” (Read more Derek Jeter stories.)