10 Must-Have Derek Jeter Cards
The most popular player of his generation, Derek Jeter is also one of the most respected names in the modern hobby. Derek Jeter cards have long been among the most popular among collectors.
Despite playing for the Yankees, "The Captain's" ascension to greatness came rather quietly. Known more for his consistency and clutch play than his power, Jeter's play has often let his teammates shine. Still, none will argue the shortstop's place among other Yankee greats.
As Jeter enters the twilight of his career, with every milestone he reaches, Jeter's appeal is becoming even more prominent. Although he has been among the hobby's elite since his early days, Derek Jeter cards are quickly becoming something more. His reach is now well beyond the Yankee faithful. He's taking up a place reserved for baseball's true elite.
There are no shortage of great and valuable Derek Jeter cards available today. In the years to come, there will likely be many more. Here are ten of the greatest. They may not be the most valuable or the rarest, but each has made a significant impact on the hobby.
10 Amazing Derek Jeter Cards
Limited to 250 copies, the 1992 Little Sun Derek Jeter autograph is tough to find. Released at a time when In Living Color was popular, the mix of pink, green and wood grain are downright ugly. But the simple fact that it has an autograph from the school-aged shortstop and its rarity make it one of the most sought-after Derek Jeter cards among high-end collectors.
Another early autograph, the 1992 Front Row Draft Picks Derek Jeter autograph is limited to 500 copies. Like the 1992 Little Sun card, it suffers from an amateurish design. The background of Jeter's photograph brings back the horrors of Picture Day. Still, autographs and rarity trump the ugliness.
The 1993 SP Derek Jeter is his most desirable and most iconic rookie card. It's the go-to choice for collectors who can afford it. The foil design makes it extremely condition sensitive. Copies without chipping command a strong premium with professionally graded copies often selling for four figures.
In 1993, Topps produced special factory sets to commemorate the debut seasons of both the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins. Every card in these sets featured a special foil stamp. Sets were originally offered only at team retail outlets. The Rockies set has a reported print run of 10,000. The Marlins set is reportedly lower, at 6,000 sets. Although not terribly rare and somewhat available, both cards provide a tougher chase for collectors looking for early Derek Jeter cards.
To increase demand for 1993 Upper Deck Baseball factory sets, every tenth set came with a variant gold hologram. The rest of the card remains the same. Because a lot of factory sets remain in tact, singles can be tough to come by. Combine that with one of the most popular Derek Jeter rookie cards and you've got something worth chasing.
One of the best sets for autograph collectors of all-time, 1996 Leaf Signature Series gives collectors one of the cleanest options for early Derek Jeter autographs. The card comes with a sharp on-card autograph. Released in two series, there are Derek Jeter cards in both. In the first series, the shortstop has three different versions. Bronze is limited to 700 copies. Silver and Gold Autographs have just 200 and 100 copies respectively. The Extended Series Derek Jeter autograph features a different design. Once again, it's a short print limited to 1,000 copies. Finally, Jeter was included in the Extended Series Century Marks parallel, which was limited to just 100. Jeter was a redemption.
1996 Select Certified brought low print runs to a new level. At this point, cards limited to the hundreds were considered extremely rare. 1996 Select Certified has three levels of Mirror parallels. Mirror Red is the most plentiful with 90 copies. Mirror Blue had just 60. And then there's Mirror Gold and its minuscule print run of just 30 copies. Although they're not numbered, the 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold Derek Jeter is one of the benchmarks rare 90s parallels.
Through the years, Stadium Club gave collectors some great autograph combinations with their Co-Signers inserts. They also brought us Marty Cordova and Rondell White. 1999 Stadium Club Co-Signers paired Derek Jeter with several different players. Of the ones that are somewhat readily available, Jeter and Chipper Jones is an all-time great. Both players have extremely loyal followings and are the faces of their respective teams. Jeter and Alex Rodriguez also appear together, although it is extremely rare. Almost impossible to find is a quad autograph with Jeter, Jones, Rodriguez and Scott Rolen.
The 2007 Topps Baseball Derek Jeter created a frenzy when it was released. President George W. Bush and Mickey Mantle stand awkwardly in the background. The card generated lots of mainstream attention and prices skyrocketed on the secondary market. Much of that came from speculators assuming it was an intentional short print. It turns out it wasn't and it's still readily available. And while prices have softened, it still sells for more than most of Jeter's base Topps cards.
Generally, Buybacks don't garner a lot of attention as iconic sports cards. Collectors appreciate them as a certified autograph, but few go on to developing a larger significance. 2009 SP Authentic Baseball had random 1993 SP Derek Jeter Buyback Autographs. Limited to 93 numbered copies, each has a hologram on the back. They also came with a card with a matching hologram.
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