Investment Guide: Derek Jeter Rookie Cards
Derek Jeter Approaches 3000 Hits
You may ask the very simple question...
But it should be no surprise that many people are very interested in this event and how it may affect Derek Jeter's collectibles, especially his baseball cards. There are several important points to consider here:
- Derek Jeter is the face of the most popular and decorated sports team in history.
- Jeter appeals to both boys and girls, men and women. His baseball instincts have won him the respect of male fans and his good looks have won female fans over throughout his career.
- He has 5 World Series rings. That's right 5. That alone might have been enough to get him into the Hall of Fame.
- He's Steroid-free. Nobody suspects him of ever having done steroids. THIS IS IMPORTANT!! There are several players who are Hall-worthy who are suspected of possible PED use and will be scrutinized to death before making the Hall of Fame - just ask Jeff Bagwell who didn't get in this year but should have.
- Jeter has both expensive and inexpensive rookie cards to choose from - from an era where most everything is overproduced.
- Collecting 3000 hits is a rare occurrence - very rare in fact. There are only 27 players in the 3000 Hit Club, the last one being Craig Biggio who collected his in June 2007.
I've been collecting baseball cards since 1980 and I've seen many trends over 30 years. I have outlined below the rookie cards that exist for Derek Jeter, their current prices, the pros and cons of each card, and future considerations as well. please note that only TRUE rookie cards are listed here. There are a great many major/minor league cards that exist for Jeter as his rookie cards are from 1993 and his debut wasn't until 1996. There are a number of cards that people claim to be rookie cards that just aren't so be careful when shopping - especially in online auctions where many minor league cards are claimed to be rookie cards.
Derek Jeter 1993 Topps 98
1993 Topps - The Staple
Current Price as of 6/4/11: $20.00
There is no easy way to put this but the 1993 set is grossly overproduced. The ONLY thing in this set to collect is the Derek Jeter rookie card and this is what most people have. This is the card people know and it's long term value really exists based only on Jeter's popularity. The card itself is easy to find, even in top graded condition.
There is a Gold foil variant that is significantly more difficult to find that is currently priced at $40.00. It looks the same as the original but says Topps Gold in gold foil lettering on it. If you have the choice and the budget, this has a lot more room to grow in value than the regular base card. There is a Topps Micro card that lists for $30 that I would completely avoid. While vintage collectors love the smaller, tobacco-styled sets, this card doesn't really fit for those collectors and Micro really does mean micro in this case.
Topps also created 10,000 sets that had the Inaugural Marlins logo stamped on them and they did a Rockies themed set as well. The Jeter rookie card found in these sets have a current value of $120 and they could climb as10,000 is considered a very small print run for this era.
Derek Jeter 1993 Upper Deck 449
1993 Upper Deck
Current Price as of 6/4/11: $15.00
This set from Upper Deck is also very overproduced. This is an inexpensive choice but it isn't a very popular choice since the picture really isn't all that interesting. Most people collecting Derek Jeter usually have this in their collection as it is easy to find. There isn't an awful lot of room to grow on the value of this card.
By comparison, there is an Upper Deck variant to this card that is very expensive and usually found in set format. Upper Deck created sets with a Gold hologram (on the back of the cards) instead of the standard silver hologram, This card is currently valued at $150 and is exceedingly rare to find. If budget is not a concern, I would suggest this card has more room to grow over time due to its rarity. Unlike the Topps Marlins/Rockies sets that I mentioned above, this card doesn't have another team's logo on it which also makes it more desirable to Yankees fans in particular.
Derek Jeter 1993 Score 489
Current Price as of 6/4/11: $20.00
This set from Score is also very overproduced. This is an inexpensive choice but a very popular choice since the picture is much better and cleaner. While this card has moved up recently, I don't think this has much more upside to it long term. There are a lot of them out there, they are usually in pretty nice shape and very easy to find. This is a good choice for a young fan.
Derek Jeter 1993 Select 360
1993 Score Select
Current Price as of 6/4/11: $12.00
By comparison, this card is not overproduced at all. In fact, of all of the regular base cards, this probably has the smallest print run. This was Score's first attempt at a higher end set. While millions of Topps, Upper Deck and Score cards exist, there's probably only a few hundred thousand of these (remember, for the time, that's a small print run!). There is only one problem, they are green bordered and they are UGLY!! Long term, people would have to realize the difference in print runs to understand that this card should be more expensive than the other cards listed above. While I'd like to think that will happen one day, I would not bet on it. At it's current price, it's the least expensive true Jeter rookie card you can own and due to it's relative scarcity, should absolutely go into any Jeter collection you have.
Derek Jeter 1993 Bowman 511
Current Price as of 6/4/11: $30.00
This card, like the Score Select card above, was underproduced for the era and is a great buy at $30.00. It's clean design and relative scarcity make it an ideal choice for long term investment as well. There are no variations for this card.
Derek Jeter 1993 Pinnacle 457
Current Price as of 6/4/11: $25.00
This set was one of those overproduced sets that I mentioned above, but with a catch - BLACK BORDERS. This card is popular for a variety of reasons:
- You couldn't get a better portrait shot on a card! Ladies LOVE this card...
- It's relatively inexpensive
- Black borders make this a condition sensitive card
As with any colored bordered set, dings and wear are very easy to see on cards that have black borders. If you can imagine 20 years from now, graded versions of this card in top shape will have a hefty premium just as 1971 Topps cards (black borders) do. This card has a great potential to rise in value especiually in top grades. If you can find a top graded PSA or BGS version, I would pick it up now.
Derek Jeter 1993 SC Murphy 117
1993 Stadium Club Murphy
Current price as of 6/4/11: $100.00
This set's production was limited as well (8,000 cases at 16 boxes each - if each box is a set that's 128,000 total sets) and it was only issued in set form so most of these should grade very well. This set is actually listed as a 1992 set by Topps but it wasn't issued until 1993. This is a high-end card with very high production values (as all Stadium Club cards are). IF you can find one, it would not be a bad idea to add this to your collection (assuming you can afford it!)
Derek Jeter 1993 SP 279
1993 Upper Deck SP
Current Price as of 6/4/11: $120.00
This is the card everyone wants. It's a high production value card as SP was a high end brand - the first from Upper Deck, to compete with Stadium Club. This set is not over-produced but what really sets this card apart is condition. The rookie cards in this set (MOST of whom are not rookies by the way) all have a silver foil background but it's extraordinarily weak foil. It scratches if you breathe on it making these cards extremely condition sensitive. That's the draw for this card because it certainly isn't the awful picture!!
Top grade values for this card are insane by any standard. The last PSA 10 went for over $3000 I believe. While the long term investment value is great on this card, if I had the $120 to spend, I would either look for any of the other high-end cards (for pure investment purposes) or buy ALL of the low-end ones (to mix quality and quantity) to add to my collection.
Derek Jeter Cards - What else to look for?
To be honest, anything Derek Jeter sells well, but his rookie cards and game-used jeersey/bat cards are big sellers as well. The attraction for jersey/bat cards is having something that Derek Jeter used in game, in your hands, on a card that you can enjoy forever and they aren't all that expensive (usually in the $15-$30 range for basic pieces). Derek Jeter certified autograph cards are also a big draw but all are expensive and wil cost at least $100, especially now. As I said in my opening, be aware of auctions that claim to be for Derek Jeter rookie cards - the only ones that are true rookie cards are outlined in this hub. Everything else, mostly oddball minor league cards or cards that may say Rookie Card on them, don't qualify as rookie cards.
I hope you found this useful and that it helps you find the right cards for you!!