Sports

9 most popular—and expensive—Derek Jeter memorabilia

Zac Bissonnette
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O Captain! My Captain!

Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees waves to the fans after a game winning RBI hit in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles in his last game ever at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
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When Deter Jeter announced his retirement in February, it launched a bull market for anything that had been touched by the longtime New York Yankees shortstop. Now, in the wake of his final—and game-winning—hit at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 25, collectors' interest has hit a fever pitch.

"There's typically some resistance to accepting active or newly retired players as immortals," says Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage Auctions. "But the proof is in the numbers for Jeter. It's not controversial to call him one of the top five Yankees of all time."

Also helping Jeter's cause is his blemish-free record in an era marred by drug use and cheating. Five years ago, says Ivy, memorabilia associated with Alex Rodriguez was running neck-and-neck with Jeter on the auction market. Today the market for "A-Rod" items has tanked. Game-used Derek Jeter bats don't sell for less than $2,000; Alex Rodriguez bats can be had for less than a quarter of that.

So, is it time to stock up on Jeter memorabilia? Probably not if you're hoping to make a profit, says Ivy, unless it's an exceptional item.

"We're seeing a bump in prices right now because he is in the mainstream news. And in six years, we'll see another peak when he's inducted into the Hall of Fame," Ivy says. "The rare, one-of-a-kind items are probably a good investment, but there's no shortage of signed Derek Jeter material, and he's not going to stop signing autographs … I wouldn't buy those as a long-term investment strategy."

Of course, money isn't the only reason to buy Jeter memorabilia.

"Derek Jeter memorabilia is an emotional thing," says Kelvin Joseph, chief operating officer of New York City-based Steiner Sports.

Check out nine of the most popular—and priciest—examples of Jeter memorabilia.

By Zac Bissonnette

1996 World Series game-used rookie bat

1996 Derek Jeter World Series Game Used Rookie Bat
Heritage Auctions

Price: $155,350
Date sold: February 22, 2014 (Heritage Auctions)

In 1996, Derek Jeter batted .314 and won the American League Rookie of the Year by a unanimous vote. He capped off the season with his first World Series victory. This bat, which an expert was able to match with TV footage showing that it had been used by Jeter in games three, four, five, and six of the World Series, is perhaps the most expensive piece of Jeter memorabilia ever sold. It was purchased less than two weeks after Jeter announced he would retire after this season.

On-deck circle from Jeter's 3,000th hit

On-deck circle from Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit
Heritage Auctions

Price: $16,730
Date Sold: July 31, 2014 (Heritage Auctions)

This was the on-deck circle Jeter stood in at Yankee Stadium on July 9, 2011, en route to his 3,000th career hit. Jeter went 5-5 that day—the first such performance in the history of the new Yankee Stadium.

Earliest known bat used with New York Yankees

The earliest known Derek Jeter game used bat with New York Yankees
Heritage Auctions

Price: $50,787.50
Date sold: July 31, 2014 (Heritage Auctions)

This bat is believed to have been used by Jeter at his first Opening Day game at Yankee Stadium—but bat expert John Taube believes it was also used for the first five road games of that season. It was originally purchased in a silent auction at the 1996 New York Yankees Homecoming Dinner.

2001 game-used Jeter jersey

A jersey Derek Jeter wore playing for the New York Yankees during a 2001 game
Heritage Auctions

Price: $7,170
Date Sold: May 15, 2014 (Heritage Auctions)

This jersey was worn by Derek Jeter in 2000—his third consecutive World Series win and his third consecutive season finishing in the top 10 in the American League MVP voting.

1992 jersey from the Kalamazoo Maroons

Derek Jeter's 1992 jersey from the Kalamazoo Maroons
Heritage Auctions

Price: $5,975
Date Sold: July 31, 2014 (Heritage Auctions)

This jersey was worn by Jeter while he was a high school student playing in a summer league. The price is notably low compared with other game-used Derek Jeter jerseys—demonstrating that, for many Jeter collectors, his appeal is inextricably linked with the New York Yankees. A jersey associated with another team just isn't as interesting. Chris Ivy of Heritage Auctions notes that the value was also hurt because they were unable to find photos of Jeter wearing the uniform.

Glove from the 1998 season

Derek Jeter’s glove from 1998 Season
Golden Auctions

Price: $32,816.40
Date Sold: April 26, 2014 (Goldin Auctions)

This black leather glove, manufactured by Rawlings, was used by Jeter throughout the 1998 season—a year in which he batted .324 with 19 home runs and 30 stolen bases with a stop midway through the season at his first of 14 All-Star Games.

Used sock

Derek Jeter Game-used sock
Steiner Auctions

Price: $409.99
Available on Steinersports.com

Steiner Sports, with whom Jeter currently has an exclusive deal for selling his memorabilia, offers guaranteed authentic game-used socks. Yes, you read that right.

Ball used in Jeter's 3,000th-hit game

A game-used baseball from Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit on July 9, 2011, signed by Jeter
Steiner Sports

Price: $3,870
Available on Steinersports.com

This ball was used in the game in which Derek Jeter went 5 for 5 to reach 3,000 career hits. The price had reached $3,870 on September 26, with 23 days left in the auction.

Signed helmet

Derek Jeter's signed New York Yankees 2014 game model carbon fiber batting helmet
Steiner Sports

Price: $480
Available on SteinerSports.com

The bid for this helmetwhich is signed but not game-usedwas $480 on September 26, with 23 days left in the auction.