Derek Jeter is a name that will be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in baseball cards, or the sport itself.
“The Captain” was one of the best known names of his era, and he ranks among the greats when all is said and done.
The multiple All-Star retired after the 2014 season with the sixth highest hit total (3,464) in major league history.
Jeter’s consistency has ensured that his cards are extremely valuable in the present day, and we’ve come up with a guide to take you through everything you need to know about the best options.
The Best Derek Jeter Rookie Cards
The majority of attention is paid to Derek Jeter rookie cards, which are getting closer to their 30th birthday as they were released between 1992-93.
5. 1996 Leaf Signature Derek Jeter RC (eBay)
The first Derek Jeter rookie card to make the list is found in the 1996 Leaf Signature Series Baseball set.
It was the first to offer an autograph in every pack, and the checklist includes many of the era’s top stars like Jeter.
Common autographs have a bronze medallion on the front, and are still fairly valuable, even if it isn’t an RC. The bronze base card is limited to 700 copies.
There are also Gold (100 copies) and Silver (200 copies) parallels, with the latter seen in the image above. It’s available for a fraction of the price of his top rookies, and it’s a solid investment piece.
1996 is the year in which he became a world champion and American League Rookie of the Year Award winner.
4. 1993 Topps Gold Derek Jeter RC #98 (eBay)
It’s not the greatest image out there, but the 1993 Topps Gold Derek Jeter RC is instantly recognisable for collectors.
The background is meant to resemble a baseball stadium, with an image of Jeter preparing to let loose.
There are also special factory editions made to commemorate the debut seasons of both the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins, identified with a foil stamp somewhere on the front of the Topps card.
3. 1992 Front Row Draft Picks Derek Jeter RC #55 (eBay)
Winding the clock back to 1992, the Front Row Draft Picks Derek Jeter autograph is limited to 500 copies.
Once again, it’s not the greatest image, showing an impossibly young looking rookie in a profile shot. He’s holding a bat casually in both hands.
It’s not the cleanest design, but it has a low serial number for the time, and it’s hand signed by the player.
Rather than a specific signature section, Jeter signed them along the bottom, so the blue ink is difficult to spot on the darker black kit.
2. 1996 Select Certified Derek Jeter RC #100 (eBay)
Don’t let the lack of an on-card serial number put you off the 1996 Select Certified set.
Jeter’s 1996 Select Certified card has three parallels. Mirror Red has 90 copies, Mirror Blue has just 45. Mirror Gold is the rarest, with its tiny print run of just 30 copies. These sorts of numbers were unheard of at the time.
The design is also superior to the majority of Jeter’s RCs, with the exception found below.
There is a rookie logo written in gold foil at the bottom of the card, and it’s the same season he was named the AL Rookie of the Year.
1. 1993 SP Foil Derek Jeter RC #279 (eBay)
The 1993 SP Foil Derek Jeter RC is undoubtedly the popular option, and it also happens to be one of the most condition-sensitive cards in existence.
Cards from the 1993 SP set are wrapped in a foil coating, which means they were often damaged simply by being taken out of the packet.
Gem mint graded options are especially rare, and they sell for the highest prices if you’re looking at recent auctions.
Sometimes a card doesn’t need serial numbers or even an auto to become one of the best within the hobby, and this is a great example.
Derek Jeter Cards: Buyers Guide
The majority of cards that have received a low grade are much cheaper than PSA 10 versions, but they don’t have as much potential for profit in the future.
We’d stick with either the SP Foil, or maybe his signed 1992 Front Row card due to the lower print run of 500.
The Best Cheap Derek Jeter Cards
If you’re on the lookout for the best cheap Derek Jeter cards, the base 1993 Topps has the same design as the Topps Gold, minus the chrome trim.
It’s also pretty affordable when looking at PSA/BGS 10 grades, and it’s still a bonafide Jeter RC.
The Best Derek Jeter Investment Card
As for the best investment card, we’d stick with any of the options listed above at the highest grade possible.
Prices are high following Jeter’s induction into the Hall of Fame, but it’s a card you can hold safe in the knowledge that it’s likely to increase in price over a longer period of time.
Derek Jeter Cards: Buying/Selling Advice
Jeter was elected to the Hall of Fame in January 2020, which was his first year on the ballot.
He received all but one vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America’s electors, highlighting both his consistency and his reputation.
Unless you look at vintage options, it’s hard to think of many other players that are so well regarded within the sport.
Current prices could be seen as a steal over the next decade or so, especially when nostalgia begins to play a bigger role for fans eager to add Jeter’s best cards to their collection.
Any Derek Jeter 1993 RC is likely to be worth good money in the long-term.