Saturday, February 11, 2017
Top Five: Derek Jeter
I hit my first card show of 2017 this afternoon.
The cardboard gods were, once again, good to me -- I'll be documenting my spoils in an upcoming post -- but the highlight of the day for me was meeting up with the fabled Tony Burbs of "Wrigley Roster Jenga" fame for the first time.
It was great to meet Tony since he and I keep in touch fairly actively on each other's blogs, and we both gifted each other some cardboard. Tony's stack included this new Derek Jeter for my "tip of the cap" mini-collection, a card which I'd actually seen (and passed on) from an all-Jeets 50-cent bin earlier on in the show.
I haven't been collecting Jeter for very long but, thanks to some inspiration from Tony, I've decided to show off my five favorite Jeets cards this week.
#5 -- 1997 Topps #13 Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter might well be the most famous player of my generation.
Other stars may have put up better numbers than him (and I still think he's a tad overrated overall) but, celebrity-wise, Jeets was at the very top of the game. No baseball player was more recognizable in his era.
Complete with a double dip/rookie cup combo, this '97 Topps issue documents the beginning of Jeter-mania, an exciting card on an otherwise bland Topps design.
#4 -- 2000 Pacific Backyard Baseball #NNO Derek Jeter
I was never a big gamer guy, but Backyard Baseball was a huge part of my childhood.
I played it day and night and still wax nostalgic about the talents of imaginary heroes like Pablo Sanchez and Pete Wheeler. The 2001 edition of the game featured kid versions of then-current big league stars and, better yet, the box set came with a pack of exclusive Backyard Baseball cards.
Just like in real life, Derek Jeter was one of the kings of Backyard Baseball.
#3 -- 1993 Topps #98 Derek Jeter RC
This was, oddly enough, among the first Jeters I owned.
I made a forum trade for it shortly after getting back into baseball cards, and it's been one of the more hallowed rookie cards in my collection ever since.
It's also a great representation of one of the more inadvertent benefits of the overproduction era: even rookies of the very biggest names -- even Derek Jeter -- are still attainable.
#2 -- 2015 Topps #1 Derek Jeter
We go from first Topps card of Jeets to his last.
You couldn't write a script better than the one baseball wrote for Derek Jeter to cap off his final home game. With always a flair for the dramatic, Jeter notched the game-winning hit in his final at-bat at Yankee Stadium, receiving this gallery-esque sunset card documenting the moment as a result.
With what we've seen from Flagship the last couple years, I find myself missing 2015 Topps more with each passing day.
#1 -- 2007 Topps #40 Derek Jeter (w/George Bush & Mickey Mantle)
One of the goofiest cards of my baseball adolescence remains one of the best.
Back when Topps still had a sense of humor, they inserted this card into random packs of 2007 Topps. On the surface, it seems like your run-of-the-mill Jeter...until you notice Mickey Mantle lurking in the dugout and George Bush looking on from the stands.
This wacky piece of history received much hype in its day and was pulled from the presses and "corrected" not long after the set hit the shelves. I myself bought an entire blaster of 2007 Topps for the sole hope of pulling it, and wouldn't you know it, the hallowed Jeter fell out of the very first pack.
If I had to sum up my crazy collection with a single card, this one might very well be it.