The most popular player of his generation, Derek Jeter is also one of the most respected names in the modern hobby. Unlikely to shock anyone, Derek Jeter cards have long been in demand with collectors, and that has only increased since his retirement.
Despite playing for the storied New York Yankees, "The Captain" emerged 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.
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 and he has entered a place reserved for baseball's true legends.
There is 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.
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10 Amazing Derek Jeter Cards to Collect
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1992 Little Sun High School Prospects Autographs Derek Jeter
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 is downright ugly. But the simple fact that it has an autograph from the school-aged shortstop makes it one of the most sought-after Derek Jeter cards among high-end collectors. It is also one of the most valuable Jeter prospect cards.
1992 Front Row Draft Picks Autographs Derek Jeter #6
Another early option, 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. Most evident is the background of Jeter's photograph that evokes the horrors of senior portraits. Still, as is normally the case in the hobby, the signature helps overcome the ugliness.
1993 SP Derek Jeter RC #279
The 1993 SP set offers the most desirable and iconic Derek Jeter rookie card. While very pricey, it's the go-to choice for collectors who can afford it. As the foil design makes it extremely condition sensitive, copies without chipping command a strong premium. Of course, high-grade copies are the top draw, pushing close to the five-figure range.
1993 Topps Inaugural Colorado Rockies / Florida Marlins Derek Edition Jeter RC #98
In the 1993 set, Topps produced special factory editions to commemorate the debut seasons of both the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins. Originally offered only at team retail outlets, every card in these sets featured a special foil stamp. The Rockies set has a reported print run of 10,000 while the Marlins set is 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.
1993 Upper Deck Gold Hologram Derek Jeter #449
To increase demand for 1993 Upper Deck Baseball factory sets, every tenth box came with a variant gold hologram. The rest of the card remains the same. Because a lot of factory sets are still intact, 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.
1996 Leaf Signature Series Autographs Derek Jeter
One of the best autograph sets in the hobby, 1996 Leaf Signature Series gives collectors one of the cleanest options for early Derek Jeter autographs. The card comes with a sharp on-card signature and large foil logo.
Released in two series, there are Derek Jeter cards in both releases. The first series has three different versions, including Bronze (700 copies), Silver (200 copies) and Gold (100 copies). Meanwhile, the Extended Series Derek Jeter autograph features a different design and a print run of 1,000 copies. Finally, Jeter was included in the Extended Series Century Marks parallel, which was limited to just 100 cards. In this instance, Jeter was a redemption.
1996 Select Certified Mirror Parallels Derek Jeter #100
Ahead of its time, 1996 Select Certified brought low print runs to a new level. At this point, cards limited to the hundreds were considered extremely rare, and Select pushed that into overdrive. 1996 Select Certified has three levels of parallels. Mirror Red is the most plentiful with 90 copies and Mirror Blue has just 45. 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 of rare '90s parallels.
1999 Stadium Club Co-Signers Autographs Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones #CS4
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 insert. 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.
2007 Topps Derek Jeter #40
The 2007 Topps Baseball Derek Jeter created a frenzy when it was released as 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. While prices have since softened, it still sells for more than most of the other Derek Jeter base Topps cards.
2009 SP Authentic 1993 SP Buyback Autographs Derek Jeter #279 #/93
Generally, buybacks don't garner the same attention as iconic sports cards. Collectors appreciate them as certified autographs, but few go on to developing a larger significance.
A clear exception is found in 2009 SP Authentic Baseball, which had random 1993 SP Derek Jeter Buyback Autographs. Limited to 93 numbered copies, each has a hologram on the back and a COA card with a matching hologram.
Related Topics: Baseball Cards: Guides