It's been tough for Mets fans over the past few years. But there is hope in the form of some stellar young pitchers. First was Matt Harvey. Even after missing 2014 due to injury, there's still plenty of reason for optimism that he can be dominant like he was in 2013. Incoming is Noah Syndergaard, one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. And then there's 2014 National League Rookie of the Year, Jacob deGrom who took not only the majors by storm in his first season, but the hobby as well. Colectors don't actually have a lot of different Jacob deGrom rookie cards to choose from given the fact that he didn't have an major league cards until after his debut.
Before stepping on the Citi Field mound for the first time as an official member of the Mets, the only Jacob deGrom cards were a couple of minor league issues. Unlike most players today, he never appeared in a Bowman release or any prospect-driven releases from Panini or Leaf. This made things interesting in the hobby once he emerged as one of the lone bright spots for the Mets in 2014.
Because he didn't make his MLB debut until mid-May, deGrom missed the cut for the majority of 2014 releases. His first rookie cards didn't start showing up until late in the season and into the off-season. As a result, there are only a handful of Jacob deGrom rookie cards. On top of these are several inserts including his first autographs cards.
Below is a detailed look at all the Jacob deGrom rookie cards as well as key minor league, prospect cards and rookie inserts.
Jacob deGrom Rookie Card Checklist
Click on the links or images to shop for specific cards on eBay or to check current market values.
If there's a bargain among the Jacob deGrom rookie cards, this might be it. 2014 Bowman Sterling is a pricey product that delivers about four times as many autographs as base cards -- and that's including base parallels. Once the initial supply dries up, Bowman Sterling base cards can often be tough to find. However, without a serial number and a lot of attention, they often slip under the radar.
It's debatable whether this is a true rookie card. The Rookies was an insert set for 2014 Donruss. However, it was later released as a small factory set that came with an expanded checklist. Jacob deGrom is among those added players who were never inserts. Either way, this is a card that likely won't pop up often in singles form. The Mets pitcher also has an autograph randomly inserted in the set.
Found in Panini's ultra-premium set, this is the rarest Jacob deGrom rookie card found in a base set. The card comes with a jumbo jersey swatch, some of which have patches despite coming with the same numbering. The autograph is also on-card. Jacob deGrom also has another autographed jersey card in the product numbered to 99. It has a much smaller swatch and the signature is on a trapped piece of acetate.
Not that a lot of deGrom's rookie cards cost much compared to the autographed inserts and tough parallels. Even so, Topps Update has one of the most affordable and readily available. If you're looking for something with a little more punch, there a variation version that has deGrom in a camouflage hat. He's also got a Trajectory Autograph in the release.
2014 Topps Chrome Update singles aren't the easiest things to find. Packs were only available in special retail value boxes. Even with a small checklist, each of the boxes has just two Chrome Update packs. The card carries the same design as the regular Topps Update rookie.
2014 Topps Heritage High Number was sold only as a factory set so singles are trickier to come by. The look is consistent with the main 2014 Topps Heritage set, which is inspired by 1965 Topps.
Jacob deGrom Minor League and Prospect Cards
This is the first time Jacob deGrom appeared on an official baseball card. Like a lot of minor league sets, it's relatively tough to find. If you can't find singles, there's always the team set route as well, which likely won't cost too much more than the deGrom single.
It might not be a New York Mets jersey, but the 2013 Choice Birmingham Mets minor league issue is the first card to show the pitcher with the familiar logo splashed across his chest. Seeing as how this is his second minor league card, it doesn't carry quite the stature as the 2012 MultiAd card.
Because this is part of the Prospects portion of 2014 Bowman Chrome, this is by definition, an insert or prospect card. That said, lots of collectors treat it like a regular rookie card. While the basic version is on the cheap side, some of the rarer Refractor parallels command significantly higher values.
Other Key Early Jacob deGrom Cards
Part of Panini's annual promo set, deGrom is part of the Rookie subset that's numbered to 499. Do to the nature of the product, prices are relatively in check despite the serial numbering.
Mystery rookie autograph redemptions have become something of a tradition in Finest. Giving Topps the ability to add players making their debuts after their main checklists are set far before release, they're a tough chase. For Jacob deGrom, it has resulted in one of his most valuable cards from his rookie season, despite being a redemption. The final card should be numbered to 100.
Every set of 2014 Topps Heritage High Number includes one autograph. On-card signatures were a rarity for deGrom in 2014, which makes this one of the better autograph cards to consider. Be sure to check edges and corners as sets had little protection in the packing process.
Not counting parallels, Jacob deGrom has four different autograph cards in 2014 Topps Supreme: two different base autographs, a horizontal Simply Supreme card, and the die-cut Supreme Styling autograph. All four have multiple color-based parallels so even though all are limited to 50 or less, you should be able to find some version of the one you're looking for without too much effort. Like all cards in Supreme, all use stickers for the signature.