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Investment Advice: Derek Jeter Calls it a Career

Updated on February 14, 2014

The Captain To Retire

So the big question I get now is what will happen to his cards and collectibles. To be honest, nothing bad will happen, but his card values will likely remain at their current levels. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

So Jeter comes into 2014 knowing this is his last year. He will get to do the final stadium tour just as Mariano Rivera did last year. He’ll get all sorts of gifts for being the player and person that he is. His popularity will never diminish and his collectibles will still be collected because he is such a beloved Yankee superstar. He also comes at us during a Yankee time where there were many stars but not a whole lot who last for a long time. In the baseball card collecting world this is easier to understand.

Whitey and The Mick

New York Fan Love Through the Years

In the 50’s, Yankees fans enjoyed several superstars: Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra. They also had a stable lineup for years so good players like Moose Skowron, Hank Bauer and Allie Reynolds (among others) were well loved by fans.

In the 60’s, Yankees fans enjoyed the play of Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Joe Pepitone, Tom Tresh and Mel Stottlemyre. There were other fan favorites like Elston Howard and Yogi was still around.

In the 70’s, Yankees fans had Thurman Munson and later in the decade they had Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, Catfish Hunter along with fan favorites Lou Piniella, Greg Nettles, Willie Randolph and Goose Gossage.

In to the 80’s, Yankees fans were into Don Mattingly. Dave Winfield played for the Yankees but most fans don’t appreciate him. The same goes for Rickey Henderson who played a few years for the Yankees as well. Guidry and Gossage were still around too.

In the 90’s? Well it’s all about Derek Jeter and the other Core Four players: Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada. There are many other players that fans collected like Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neill but really it’s the Core Four guys. And they dominate the 2000’s too with a little Robinson Cano thrown in. Many players who have played with the Yankees the past ten to fifteen years are not appreciated or collected at all. Players like Mike Mussina, Bernie Williams, Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez just don’t inspire and love from the fans (A-Rod is an obvious case but early on, fans were into him). So it’s really only Derek Jeter and he has outlasted everyone else.

All-time Career Leader in Hits

So What to Expect?

Well Jeter has this year to make one more push up the All-Time Hits Leaderboard. As you can see Jeter is currently in 10th place at 3316. With a less than normal year of production from Jeter, say 150 hits (he’s never had that few hits in a full season), he would jump into 6th place on the list. While I don’t believe there is any more talk about Jeter NOT being a Hall-of-Famer, 6th place on the All-Time Hits list makes him a shoo-in for the Hall. Along the way he passes Paul Molitor, Cal Yastrzemski, Honus Wagner and Cap Anson. His cards will probably not move much as he does this, though it depends on how much is written about it during his farewell tour – it might get more coverage, but it also might not.

I’ve previously written hubs about collecting Derek Jeter Rookie Cards and Derek Jeter Autograph Cards. I wrote the Rookie Card hub prior to Jeter collecting his 3000th hit. Since then here is how the card prices have changed:

Card Title
Price in 6/2011
Price in 2/2014
1993 Topps #98
1993 Topps #98 Gold
1993 Topps #98 Micro
1993 Topps #98 Marlins
1993 Topps #98 Rockies
1993 Upper Deck #449
1993 Upper Deck #449 Gold Hologram
1993 Score #489
1993 Score Select #360
1993 Bowman #511
1993 Pinnacle #457
1993 Stadium Club Murphy #117
1993 Upper Deck SP #279

1993 SP Jeter - Most Expensive RC

Explaining the Changes

Remember that he’s coming off an injury-plagued season where he barely played at all so it makes sense that some of the cards come down in price. Is it odd that some didn’t change and that others went up? Yes it is. Let me explain what might have happened with certain cards:

1993 Topps #98 – This is an incredibly over-produced card that declined because Jeter did not play.

1993 Topps #98 Gold – There is no good explanation for this. It’s not plentiful and the foil scratches easily. I might want to get more of these now.

1993 Upper Deck #449 Gold Hologram – There is no really good explanation here either. There is only one Gold Hologram set in case of 20 set it isn’t plentiful. It isn’t well known and might be too odd a variation for collectors to really appreciate anymore.

1993 Score #489 – Not sure why this went up but it’s a very clean-looking card

1993 Score Select #360 – This underappreciated card moved up a little. It’s a bit on the obscure side and doesn’t have a huge print run but it is a relatively ugly card. Scarcity might be driving this increase.

1993 Upper Deck SP #279 – Moved up a lot and continues to be the most popular Jeter RC.

So even with essentially a year off the field, his cards didn’t drop-through the floor and I don’t believe they ever will. He simply he too many fans and there are too many ways that fans can still see his exploits on the field. I’m sure he will continue to be included in card products just as players like Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn are so he will continue to have new cards, probably lots of Autograph cards too as a retired player.

Certified Jeter Autographed Sneaker

Other Collectibles

I don’t do a lot of other collectibles but Derek Jeter has an exclusive Autograph deal with Steiner Sports and I’m sure they will product many autographed “Farewell Tour” items this year. They will be expensive. If you are a fan, these will be very cool to own. If you are a dealer looking to make a profit, skip these items as they will be very expensive and won’t move up in price while Jeter is still alive and signing more autographs. It would make more sense to buy his certified autographs on baseball cards which usually cost in the $125-$150 range.

In conclusion, Jeter cards and collectibles likely won't drop in value as his popularity, as well as his fan-base is huge. Buying up Rookie Cards is a great investment, any will do but the Topps card is the staple in all collections, the SP is the heavy hitter and th Stadium Club Murphy is easily the most limited (get these if you can).


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    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      Jeter's situation is unique in a number of ways, all of which will affect his collectability going forward.

      1. He's an icon and the first of the internet age. Just as Yankees and Dodgers from the 50's are well known around the country from being on nationally televised World Series games throughout the fifties (When television was new), Jeter has a huge highlight real that his fans can continue to watch on YouTube or forever.

      2. For the same reason, those people can tell stories about Jeter to their young kids who can go see the highlights as well.

      3. He played for only one team - very unique in this day and age, and it's one of the most popular teams in organized sports anywhere - the NY Yankees.

      4. His accomplishments are also pretty unique - 6th place on the hits list and 5 WS Rings are completely unique.

      His cards all jumped this past year and I think his cards will stay at the current levels. I think his cards will spike again as he makes the Hall of Fame but since we expect it to happen, it shouldn't be a huge jump.

      Anybody who wants an autograph should keep the cards in mind as they are far less expensive than anything you can get through Steiner.

    • Romeo Purugganan profile image

      Romeo Purugganan 

      4 years ago

      Hi. Yes, you were on the spot with your predictions. It's hard to accept Jeter's retirement. I'm sure I speak for many.

      How much appreciation do you expect till he goes for the Hall ballot on top of his current values on his graded rookie cards.

      Is Jeter an example of a uniquely, highly collectable player given his accomplishments and who he is?

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      I have to say after reading this that I'm proud to see I called this exactly right. Jeter had 149 hits and jumped into 6th place ending his career at 3465. I think its also important to note that of the five players above him, all played for at least 2 more years than he did. All of his rookie cards jumped in value and will likely stay there.

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      As a general, rule, most modern players cards decrease as they leave the spotlight. With a player like Jeter, who we expect to go to the Hall of Fame, his cards won't increase when he gets elected (though interest in his cards will spike at this time). I would say the end of this season or during the post-season if the Yankees make it that far, would be the optimal time to sell.

    • Romeo Purugganan profile image

      Romeo Purugganan 

      4 years ago

      Hi. I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge and insight into collecting Jeter. Derek is a special player and I think his legacy in collecting will be unique. When do you think is the best time to sell a quality Jeter rookie card/assorted card collection for maximum profit? After he is elected to the Hall or hold onto indefinitely?

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      Thank you. Feel free to check out the Derek Jeter Rookie Card link and the Autograph Card link. Between these three hubs, collectors should have a pretty clear view of what to look for.

    • smcopywrite profile image


      5 years ago from all over the web

      As a fan of Jeter, thanks for giving up some great info on what to collect and what not to. put together quite well.


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