Investment Guide: Derek Jeter Autograph Cards
Investment Guide: Derek Jeter Autograph Cards
Well, let’s at least start off with a few very basic facts about Derek Jeter autographs:
- For all non-card items, Jeter has an exclusive deal with Steiner Sports and they charge a lot of money for his autograph on say, a baseball.
- Jeter has signed in the neighborhood of 70,000 autographs for baseball cards either on the card itself or on sticker sheets used by the card companies.
- Jeter’s autograph is in very high demand and will be for the remainder of his life.
Even with these facts, most Derek Jeter autograph cards cost in the $125-$200 range and they are very fast sellers. Once a Jeter autograph card enters a collection, it usually stays there. Despite the very large number quoted above (and it’s probably higher than that), Derek Jeter autograph cards are coveted and do not stay on the market very long. You can find them on auction sites, but they aren’t cheap and they are constantly rotating to new owners. With Jeter’s entrance into the 3000 Hit Club and his World Series Rings, All Star MVP and countless other accolades, he’s a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame which will keep him in the public eye forever.
Any non-card item from Steiner is expensive, be it an 8x10 photo or a baseball. The card is probably the least expensive item you can get which is why I’m profiling them here. Most of his autograph cards sit in the range stated above based on his autograph, not necessarily the cards attributes and that is where there are some glaring differences between cards. This is where I’d like to differentiate the merits of certain cards over others.
Example 1: Minor League Certified Autograph
This is one of Jeter’s first autograph cards and was signed while he was still in the Minor Leagues. It does not show Jeter on the Yankees but it costs just as much as one that does and he signed 1000 of them. If you have the money to spend, I would stick with a card that shows Jeter in his Yankees uniform. This card sells in the $150-$175 range.
Too Scarce to Price but $600-$700 is Close
Example 2: Dual Autograph with a Non-Yankee
The example shown includes baseball legend Cal Ripken however; Jeter has been paired with many other players on dual-autograph cards. While this one with Ripken is a show-stopper, a dual-autograph card with say B.J. Upton probably isn’t (nothing against Upton). I would consider that inferior to getting Jeter by himself. Dual autograph cards are usually very limited so the price will likely be above the range stated earlier. If you are not a B.J. Upton fan, you don’t want to spend more for this card just because he’s on it.
Example 3: Dual Autograph with Another-Yankee
In this example, Jeter is paired with Yankee favorite Nick Swisher but many times Jeter is paired with a Yankees legend like Don Mattingly or Yogi Berra. These are all solid cards but beware of cards pairing Jeter with unpopular Yankee players or even a guy who could become unpopular. Yankees fans love Swisher right now but if he signed with Boston next year, they probably wouldn’t love him so much. Cards of this nature tend to get expensive. Not only are they limited but most Yankee legends autographs will add extra expense to buying the card.
Example 4: Autograph on Short Printed Card
This example shows Jeter’s autograph on a piece of wood. There are variations for this card using different color inks and it’s very limited as there are only 15 of them. This card, while it looks awesome with the great baseball theme (Yankees Stadium is in the background) is tremendously expensive. In this case the limited nature of the card is driving the price as well as Jeter’s autograph. Cards with this type of print run typically run in the $400-$500 range. For a collector this is a great addition to a collection. For the Yankee fan who just wants an autograph, this card is not necessary.
Example 5: Autograph with Game-Used on Painted Card
This card has a lot of really positive things going for it. First, it is autographed by Derek Jeter. Second, it also contains a piece of game-used patch as opposed to jersey. A Patch piece comes specifically from one of the special features on a jersey, like the players name letters, jersey number or the team’s logo. These are far more special than a basic jersey piece. Third, this card is limited to just 25 copies. The only real issue with this card is whether you personally like painted images on cards. Some people love them and others really can’t stand them. If you are buying for yourself, choose what you like – if you are buying to resell one day, find a card with an actual photograph to avoid this issue altogether.
Example 6: Autograph with Game-Used on Monotone Card
This card also has a lot of very positive things going for it. The autograph is clean, the game-used jersey piece contains a pinstripe, the picture is a photograph, not a painted image, and the card design that showcases a box score works well for a baseball card. The card is limited to 99, which isn’t limited enough to raise the price too much. The one drawback is that it is a monotone card. Whether is a sepia-toned card or a black & white card, most people prefer color. The autograph also appears to be on a sticker and not on the card itself which makes it a little less personal. Still, this is a nice card to put into a collection.
Example 7: Autograph on Basic Card
This is a fairly basic autograph on an insert card. It isn’t serial-numbered, doesn’t include a piece of jersey or include anyone else on the card. All it has is a crisp design and a smiling picture of Jeter in color. If you just want to add a basic autograph card of Jeter, something like this is the most affordable. While this card has a value in the range of $150, you should be able to find it for less on an auction site.
Other Things to Consider
With all autograph cards, make sure you are buying something you want to buy. Many autograph cards have sticker autographs which many collectors don't like too much. On-card autographs mean that the player actually touched the card as they autographed it and many collectors think more highly of that. Also, make sure the card is a Certified Autograph. The card back should include text stating that you have received an autographed card. If the back looks like a regular card, then the card may indeed be autographed by Jeter, or more likely, it wasn't and someone is trying to take your money.
Always know what you're buying. No matter which way you want to buy Jeter's autograph, it won't be cheap, so do a little research and know what you are looking for when you go to buy!!
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