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 (Toll Free)

Jeter leaving pinstripes? A collector mulls cards

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor | Commentary

Today, I woke up to texts about Derek Jeter, tweets about Derek Jeter and emails about Derek Jeter.

Everyone wants to know what is happening with the (former) New York Yankees shortstop. But they mostly want to know how I feel about the idea of Jeter running off and signing with another club.

I’m a Jeter fan and collector with more than 1,500 unique Jeter cards. I have every Rookie Card, 49 memorabilia cards and six autographs (they’re not cheap). I thought he was always going to be a Yankee.

However, there is a small possibility this may not happen.

Talks between the Yankees and Jeter have gone little public and there are plenty of pundits talking about the possibility Jeter will sign with another team.

I cringed even as I wrote that.

Derek Jeter has been a staple in New York since 1996 when he won the Rookie of the Year and a World Series Championship, the first for the Yankees since 1978.

So what happens if he goes somewhere else? Am I really supposed to think about that?

I don’t think Jeter will go anywhere else. I think Jeter stays in New York. As much as the Yankees brass have been talking about the negotiations in the media (which is never a good thing), the Yankees and Jeter need each other.

Jeter won’t get as much money if he goes anywhere else and Yankee fans will be angry. The Yankees will lose some fans – including me.

That’s not to say I won’t be a New York Yankees fan anymore because my tattoo says otherwise. But if the Yankees don’t re-sign Jeter, I will not renew my season ticket. The Yankees charge outrageous money as it is just to sit in their stadium. If they aren’t charging that much money in order to re-sign the Yankees captain, who has won five World Series, consistently plays hard, and leads the team, then what is it for?

I remember when Andy Pettitte left New York as a free agent and signed with Houston in 2004. He was gone for three years and I was devastated – as devastated as a fan can be in sports. Pettitte is probably second on my list of current favorite Yankees.

At first, I didn’t know how I would react but I learned my fandom didn’t change. I rooted for Pettitte, but it was easy because he was in the National League and the Yankees didn’t have to compete against him. I was living in southern New Jersey while Pettitte was in Houston and went to a see a game he pitched in Philadelphia by myself with my binoculars. Once he finished the game, I left.

If Jeter goes somewhere else, I’ll treat him the same way. I’ll root for him if he goes to another team. Though, I don’t think I will collect any cards that don’t say Yankees on it.

Jeter as an Oakland A? Eh, not really feeling it.

Jeter as a Baltimore Oriole? I don’t like it because I wouldn’t approve of him going to a team in the AL East.

But here is the real kicker, the one question everyone has been asking me – Jeter as part of the Boston Red Sox?

My head hurts just thinking about that. I can’t root for someone who plays for the Boston Red Sox, but that brings a whole batch of questions such as what am I going to do with my collection?

I’ll keep it, but it won’t get bigger than where it is now.

Come on Yankees, don’t break my heart.

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.

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