Until Saturday afternoon, Mike Hogan was unique among baseball fans. There had been only one player in major-league history to hit a home run for his 3,000th hit, and Hogan caught the ball.
But then Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees homered for his milestone hit, just as former Tampa Bay Devil Ray Wade Boggs did nearly 12 years ago. Yankees fan Christian Lopez came up with the ball at Yankee Stadium and, as Hogan did with Boggs, returned the keepsake the man who hit it.
The Yankees offered Lopez four season tickets for the remainder of this year, including postseason.
"Certain people like Boggs and Jeter, you know how hard they've worked on their game and how they play with respect for the game," Hogan said. "I never thought for a moment about keeping the ball."
Meanwhile, Hogan knows his solo place in history was gone.
"I was hoping (Jeter) wouldn't get it on a home run," he said. "I'm glad he got it, but I just wish it had been some other hit."
Hogan was at a batting cage in Wesley Chapel with his son, Connor, when Jeter approached the plate for the historic at-bat. Hogan didn't see the actual home run, but he saw a news flash on one of the TVs sets at the facility.
"It popped up on ESPN that Jeter had gotten his 3,000th hit and that the score was 1-1," Hogan said. "I knew the Rays had been ahead 1-0, so it was like, 'Uh oh.' I figured then he had gotten it on a home run."
Hogan, who recently joined Jesuit High School as director of communications after working in the University of South Florida sports information department, grew up in Albany, N.Y., and was a Yankees fan.
"I'm a Rays fans through and through now, but I was definitely a Yankees fan then," he said. "I'm happy for Jeter because he's such a great player and a class act. It's actually kind of neat that he made it 3,000. I just wish, you know, it hadn't been a home run."