1993 Topps Stadium Club Murphy Derek Jeter
Jeter has obviously had an absolutely huge impact on the hobby. Naturally it's faded slightly as his career has begun to wind down, but I think he will be a figure similar to Nolan Ryan once he finally hangs it up and retires. While their were many popular Yankees during the teams run of four World Series titles in between 1996 and 2000, Jeter was the most popular figure on the team in the hobby. Plus, let's be honest about something. The Yankees and everything that comes with them are always popular around the hobby, but a special place is held for players who are able to win under that spotlight. Jeter's not the best player of his generation, but he's at the top in terms of popularity because he won a lot.
Jeter has several rookie cards, but for my money there is nothing better than the Stadium Club Murphy card. The set comes in a giant plastic model of San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium, but the card is awesome. It's a card with little border or design to clutter it up, but just a nice picture of Jeter wearing his warmups holding a bat. Sometimes simplicity is good, but in this case it is awesome. I own one copy of the card, but would gladly trade all thirty other (or something like that) Jeter rookies in my collection for another clean well-centered copy of the card.
There are so many great Jeter cards out there that I am going to point out just some of my basics to Jeter. There are better and bigger Jeter collectors out there, but I keep the good cards of him that I run across and do not really hold any animosity against him for being a popular figure in the game.
Besides the Stadium Club Murphy, if I had to own another Jeter card for my collection, I would make sure to add a copy of the 2007 Topps Jeter variation. I get annoyed at all of the silly variations jams into some of their products these days, but the card that started a lot of the silly variation stuff out was this Jeter card.
2007 Topps Derek Jeter Mantle/Bush SP
The original card was cool because Topps only made one variation card in the 2007 set. It wasn't like the 2013 Topps Update set which had a few hundred. The story behind the card varies, but I believe Topps knew about the card and let it roll. It's the best variation cards out there and probably the most iconic one I could think of as a must own.
Beyond owning a Jeter rookie card and the variation most Jeter collectors are going to focus on picking up autographs and relics. His autograph offers collectors great value and retain their value very well. Jeter has a great signature to boot.
2000 UD Ionix Derek Jeter Autograph
You already I prefer the on-card autographs, so I would stick with something from the late 90s or early 2000s. While Jeter autographs offer collectors really good value he has signed a ton of cards throughout his career. The majority of his autographs are going to run you a pretty penny. If the card is less than $100 something is wrong or it's fake. I am always amazed that his autographs and relics have retained their value as well as they have over the years just based on the sheer quantity of cards there are out on the secondary market.
2002 Fleer Ultra Season Crowns Derek Jeter Jersey
Relic cards are the same as autographs. There are tons of them out on the market, or just keep opening packs of cards and you will run into a few. He's the one guy who seemingly always has a jersey card. Bigger pieces and patches are always better, but it's also really important to pull pieces with a pinstripe. I always have a hard time with Fleer products and pinstripes. There are probably a dozen Jeter jersey cards in my collection and none of the Fleer cards have pinstripes. None.
On The Field-
If you know me well you know what's coming here in a second, but I will say that the five rings that Jeter has accumulated over the years are quite impressive. There are not many players who reach that mark and it speaks volumes that the Yankees kept him around for all five championships. Championship rings are always nice things to have around. Okay, let the shoe fall.
I was talking with a reader a few weeks ago about the Hall of Fame ballot which I posted on this blog. I posted ten players I would vote for if I had a ballot and then posted a few other names at the bottom of the ballot. The name on my ballot who drew the biggest outrage was former Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell. Basically the reader had a problem with the fact that I would have voted for Trammell if I had a free space on my ballot. Really, the best argument for Alan Trammell being in the Hall of Fame is Derek Jeter. Do you believe Derek Jeter is a Hall of Famer? Almost a universal yes. Then why not Trammell?
Jeter rates as the 12th best shortstop of all-time accroding to JAWS, but I do not like the fact that they count ARod and Robin Yount as a shortstop, so I will bump Jeter up to tenth place all-time. That puts Jeter right in the middle of the Hall of Fame shortstops. He's behind Cal Ripken, Ernie Banks, Ozzie Smith, and Luke Appling. Oh, Alan Trammell too. He ranks higher than Barry Larkin, Lou Boudreau, and Joe Cronin.
If you look at Jeter's break down of oWAR and dWAR he rates as a 94.1 on the o and -9.2 on the d. While the dWAR rating is poor the o rating of actually puts him in the top 25 players of all-time on offense. If you use WAR he comes in at 71.6 which puts him 8th all-time for shortstops. Behind Alan Trammel. Also Honus Wagner, Ozzie Smith, and Cal Ripken.
There are also some good counting numbers on the Jeter resume too. Everyone knows the 3,000 hits, but he also has 500 doubles, 250 home runs, and over 300 steals. That's got to be a pretty unique club. Definite Hall of Famer in my mind. Vote Trammell.
You know I hate posting the same card twice, but....