February 2019 Winter Premium Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/3/2019
The 1993 Classic Best Derek Jeter Autograph is The Captain's one and only, official, pack-pulled autograph from his traditional rookie card year of 1993. Limited to just 1200 copies produced, the 20-year old prospect individually handled and signed each card, and as is the case with so many player-handled, on-card signatures, the cards consequently show mild to moderate traces of handling. Instead of going straight into packs, the cards were pulled by hand from the production line and then typically sent to players via the mail. Players would work their way through their stacks over a number of days and then return the signed cards, again through the mail, at which point they would be randomly inserted back into the production line, sealed in packs, then boxes, then cases, ultimately winding up in the hands of a lucky collector, with odds comparable to winning the lottery.

From start to finish, the process naturally resulted in various imperfections, with mild chipping at the corners and edges as well as small surface scratches that make perfect examples nearly impossible to find. Many of the cards might look Mint to the naked eye, but they reveal considerable traces of handling when inspected under magnification. In addition to their distribution in packs, Classic Games also offered the complete set of its 1993 autographed cards in a framed presentation as a promotion, and examples with no serial numbering are also known to exist. Regardless of their distribution method, however, all of the Jeter cards feature a very thick autograph in the characteristic style of his earliest signings, reminiscent of the 1992 Little Sun and 1992 Front Row and 4 Sport issues.

The larger-sized marker used by Jeter on the Classic Best cards, however, dried out much faster than a fine point marker, resulting in a number of examples with streaky, faded autographs. Consequently, copies with bold, even wet-looking signatures like the PSA 10 Gem Mint copy offered here command considerable premiums. By the following year, 1994, Jeter's signature would morph considerably, and by 1995 and 1996 it would appear much closer to the classic script we know so well today. The end result is that the 1993 Classic Best Autograph is not only scarce and condition sensitive, but it is Derek's only true rookie autograph, at least according to most price guides and long-time dealers. From an aesthetic perspective, it is also The Captain's final card bearing the script he undoubtedly practiced everyday in high school, just a couple of years earlier, dreaming of becoming a Yankee.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,442
Number Bids: 6
Auction closed on Sunday, March 3, 2019.
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