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The Definitive Derek Jeter Card Retrospective

When the New York Yankees square off against the Houston Astros Tuesday, it’ll mark the 17th time in Derek Jeter’s career that he’s been the team’s starting shortstop on Opening Day.

In honor of the upcoming retirement of the Yankees’ captain, here is a baseball card retrospective of his career.

Twenty-two years ago, the Yankees drafted a skinny shortstop had a terrible swing and looked thirteen.

1992 Classic Best #402 Derek Jeter Front1992 Front Row Draft Picks #55 Derek Jeter Front

However, he filled out and moved up the ladder in the Yankees’ organization…quickly developing a superhero-like reputation!

1994 Classic Best Gold - Acetates #SH3 Derek Jeter Front

By 1995, Jeter was “Next in Line” to be the shortstop of the Yankees and a heartthrob a generation of New York schoolgirls.

1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes - Next In Line #7 Derek Jeter Front

Heartthrob? Heck, he was a “Ticket Stud”!

1998 Ultra - Ticket Studs #11 Derek Jeter Front

In 1996, he was named the American League Rookie of the Year, helping the upstart Yankees (yes, kids, they really were underdogs back then) defeat the mighty Atlanta Braves in the World Series.

Check out Jeter’s smack talk…”[An Atlanta paper] said the ’27 Yankees couldn’t beat the Braves. But they forgot about the ’96 Yankees.”

1997 Circa - Rave #200 Derek Jeter Front

By 2000, Jeter was a full-on superstar, and one of the best post-season performers of all time. He won four of his five World Series rings in the first five seasons of his career. His home run on the first pitch of Game 4 of the 2000 Subway Series was just one of many “Monumental Moments” for him.

2001 Fleer Showcase #MM3 Derek Jeter Front

Though criticized for a lack of range, Jeter had some big defensive highlights…like his flip throw to nail Jeremy Giambi at the plate and preserve a 1-0 Yankee win in the 2001 ALDS.

2010 Topps - Tales of the Game #TOG20 Jeter: The Flip Front

The bulk of his career came in the late-90s’-early’00’s era, when card companies did a lot of strange things. For example:


1996 Leaf Preferred - Staremaster #3 Derek Jeter Front

“Mining for Gold”?

1996 Metal Universe - Mining for Gold #6 Derek Jeter Front

Derek Jeter…explode!

1996 Score - Future Franchise #3 Derek Jeter Front

Fiery hot!

1997 Flair Showcase Row 2 - Hot Gloves #6 Derek Jeter Front

In Soviet Russia (or 1997 Leaf), glove catches you!

1997 Leaf - Statistical Standouts #12 Derek Jeter Front

Can. Not. Resist.

1997 Metal Universe - Magnetic Field #5 Derek Jeter Back

If Jeter played in the psychedelic 60s.


Sports Illustrated, best known for making swimsuit magazines, had a brief foray into baseball-card-making in the late 90s and gave us this spectacular crotch shot.

1998 Sports Illustrated Then & Now - Great Shots! #8 Derek Jeter Front


1998 Ultra - Win Now #6 Derek Jeter Fronthttp://www.tradingcarddb.com/Images/Cards/Baseball/11373/11373-6Bk.jpg

No words…just lots of purple.

1999 Pacific Prism - Holographic Purple #100 Derek Jeter  Front

Hey girl, how about a spring fling?

1999 SkyBox Premium #276 Derek Jeter Front

Nothing says “21st Century” like a pink techno-grid.

2000 Topps - 21st Century #C3 Derek Jeter Front

One can’t talk about Jeter’s baseball card career without mentioning Topps’ lame (but attention-getting) publicity stunt, badly Photoshopping images of George Bush and Mickey Mantle onto a short-print version of the captain’s 2007 card.

2007 Topps #40a Derek Jeter Front

Coverage of Jeter’s last game will probably be aired on every channel.

1998 Pacific Revolution - Prime Time Performers #6 Derek Jeter Front

But don’t worry, he will be with us for all of eternity.

2000 Upper Deck Hitter's Club - Eternals #E6 Derek Jeter  Front


Bo Rosny is The Hall of Very Good’s resident baseball expert.  You can read more from him at his website Baseball Cards Come to Life.