Jacob deGrom Rookie Card Countdown and Other Key Early Cards

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The Jacob deGrom Rookie Card lineup has aged well thus far. When he broke into the league in 2014, he was a well-regarded pitcher playing in a big market with no shortage of legendary names in the team’s history. But it didn’t take long for deGrom to make some history of his own.

Originally drafted as a ninth rounder in 2010, it took a few years for the right-hander to make his way to the Mets. His MLB debut came in May, 2014 and made 22 starts for New York that season. His 144 strikeouts and 2.69 ERA were a couple of the reasons he cruised to National League Rookie of the Year honors.

It turns out, deGrom was just getting started.

He has emerged as one of the most dominating pitchers in the game, winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019. deGrom also finished third in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, ending his quest for a three-peat.

When it comes to Jacob deGrom Rookie Cards, there’s not a lot out there. Because he made a spring debut in 2014, he wasn’t in a big chunk of the year’s sets. However, deGrom was able to be worked into a handful of later releases. That means the pitcher has just five traditional Rookie Cards. Had he been held back for 2015 sets, that number would have ballooned to dozens.

Most Valuable Jacob deGrom Rookie Card Countdown

The following list only contains base Rookie Cards with the RC tag in the Beckett database. Inserts and parallels are not included. A comprehensive Jacob deGrom baseball card checklist can be found here.

5. 2014 Bowman Sterling Jacob deGrom Rookie Card #24

This isn’t the most affordable Jacob deGrom Rookie Card due to rarity. Rather, it’s more because Bowman Sterling is a brand more synonymous with autographs and prospects than traditional RC cards.

Base cards are extremely tough, though. They combine with Prospects and Refractors to land just one per pack. And in 2014, Bowman Sterling was an expensive product with three autographs per pack. Although the RC isn’t serial numbered, you’re likely to find the Refractor before the base version.

Parallels: Refractors (/199), Purple Refractors (/50), Blue Refractors (/25), Japan Fractors (/25), Black Atomic Refractor (/10), Canary Diamond Refractors (/3), Japan Atomic Refractors (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Red Refractors (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)

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4. 2014 Topps Update Jacob deGrom Rookie Card #US50

While this might be one of the cheapest Jacob deGrom Rookie Cards, it still fetches a pretty healthy amount. It’s also not far behind his others.

Not only is it a Topps flagship card, ensuring its place in hobby iconography, but top-tier Update sets have been growing since the 2011 Mike Trout took off. While not rare, collectors have come to realize Topps Update sets are not generally available in the same numbers as those found in Series 1 and 2.

Besides the regular version and its parallels, deGrom also has a variation short print with him in a white jersey and pointing. The variation also has an autograph that’s numbered to 5.

Parallels: Red Hot Foil, Target Red, Walmart Blue, Gold (/2014), Camo (/99), Black (/63), Pink (/50), Clear (/10), Platinum (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)

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2014 Topps Update Jacob deGrom Rookie Card

3. 2014 Topps Heritage Jacob deGrom Rookie Card #H549

The 2014 Topps Heritage Jacob deGrom Rookie Card wasn’t offered in packs — unless you consider a factory set with an additional autograph to be a pack. 2014 Topps Heritage High Number took the set route, albeit a slightly different one than the two years previous. In 2012 and 2013, Topps released the update sets as online-exclusives. In 2014, it was a more mainstream hobby release.

Still, as a set, it means that singles are not readily available like regular Heritage cards. Most collectors buy a set to keep it in tact. And those who break them up might not do so in the same fashion as they would with a pack release.

The fact that it’s attached to the Heritage brand is also a plus.

So even though there’s not a lot here that’s fancy or premium by the modern definition, this has become a popular Jacob deGrom Rookie Card.

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2014 Topps Heritage Jacob deGrom Rookie Card

2. 2014 Topps Chrome Update Jacob deGrom Rookie Card #MB-19

2014 Topps Chrome Update packs were around and then they weren’t. Available only in a special “Megabox” package that was a retail-exclusive, packs weren’t available in large numbers. While the blaster-style boxes were affordable and relatively available for a short time, they only had a pair of Chrome Update packs. With a little calculation, it becomes apparent that finding individual cards wasn’t that easy. Combine that with the growth of chromium brands and you’ve got a recipe for a card that’s significantly more than it was not long ago.

Parallels: Refractors (/250), Black Refractors (/99)

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2014 Topps Chrome Update Jacob deGrom Rookie Card

1. 2014 Panini National Treasures Jacob deGrom RC Auto Patch #195 /99

This is the only base set Jacob deGrom Rookie Card with an autograph. It’s also the only one with a memorabilia swatch. If serial-numbered cards are your thing, this is the only one of the five to carry that distinction as well. Packaged together in the super-premium National Treasures brand and you’ve got the pitcher’s most valuable RC.

Parallels: Purple (/49), Gold (/25), Black (/10), Green (/5), Brand Logo Red (1/1), Laundry Tags Blue (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)

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Early Jacob deGrom Card Highlights

Not all of Jacob deGrom’s top early cards carry the RC tag. Here are some other popular highlights of note.

2012 Savannah Sand Gnats Multi-Ad Jacob deGrom #6

The first Jacob deGrom card doesn’t have a Bowman logo on it. Rather, it’s a minor league card that’s not an easy find today. That’s likely because, as a regionally targeted card, not many were produced in the first place.

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2012 Savannah Sand Gnats Multi-Ad Jacob deGrom

2013 Binghamton Mets Choice Jacob deGrom #10

Although it’s not the pitcher’s first minor league card, it does mark his hobby debut in a Mets uniform. Sure, it’s the Binghamton Mets and not New York, but it’s a start. And if this card gives you a little pang of nostalgia, you’re not alone. There’s some definite 1989 Topps Baseball vibes with the wave and font at the bottom.

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2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects Jacob deGrom #BCP73

Usually, players get their first Bowman cards a year or two before their MLB debuts. Not so with deGrom. His first Bowman Chrome card came out right around the time he was stepping onto the mound as a member of the Mets for the first time. Released in 2014 Bowman Baseball, it’s technically an insert and not a traditional Rookie Card. Still, in today’s hobby, many collectors treat it similar to how they might an RC.

deGrom also has a regular Bowman Prospects card. While popular, it doesn’t carry the same value or prestige as Bowman Chrome.

Parallels: Blue Wave Refractors, Orange Wave Refractors, Black Wave Refractors, Refractors (/500), Blue Refractors (/250), Purple Refractors (/199), Black Refractors (/99), Green Refractors (/75), Gold Refractors (/50), Green Wave Refractors (/25), Orange Refractors (/25), Red Wave Refractors (/25), Silver Wave Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)

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2014 Classics Significant Signatures Jacob deGrom #90 /299

Throwing it back to the Donruss Classics line that debuted more than a decade before this card’s release, this is one of the cheapest Jacob deGrom autographs from his rookie season. The set wasn’t the biggest at the time. Also, with 299 copies for the base version, it’s one of his most readily available signatures from 2014.

Parallels: Gold (/25), Platinum (1/1)

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2014 Donruss The Rookies Autographs Jacob deGrom #74

This autograph isn’t found in packs. Rather it is part of an update to the 2014 Donruss The Rookies inserts released on Panini’s website in the form of a factory set. Similar to 2014 Heritage High Number, each also included one autograph with deGrom being one of the possibilities. 1988 Donruss Baseball is the design inspiration. One of the most famous cards in that set is another Met — Gregg Jefferies.

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2014 Finest Rookie Autographs Mystery Redemptions Jacob deGrom #RR2 /100

Something of a tradition in Topps Finest is the Mystery Redemption Autograph. When the set first comes out, there’s often a lot of speculation over who it might be. Essentially, the cards allow Topps to add a key signature (usually a rookie) not available for the main set. In 2014, deGrom was one of three players making the cut.

Numbered to 100, this is not an easy card to find. It’s also the ace’s first chrome-style autograph giving it a little added prestige seeing as how deGrom never signed any Bowman Chrome cards as either a prospect or a rookie.

Parallels: Red Ink (/10)

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2014 Finest Rookie Autographs Mystery Redemptions Jacob deGrom

2014 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs Jacob deGrom #ROA-JD

Heritage’s Real One Autographs don’t necessarily look premium, but they carry tremendous clout. For starters, there’s history. These go way back. One could also argue the retro inspirations of Heritage players a part in history as well. But the line has built up a lot of popularity over the years and has remained consistent with its on-card signatures.

Like deGrom’s Heritage RC, this one came in High Number factory sets.

Parallels: Red Ink (/10)

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2014 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs Jacob deGrom

2014 Topps Supreme Autographs Jacob deGrom #SA-JD, SA-JDE /50

Supreme wasn’t around long in baseball. Its short existence in the sport was defined by two things: everything was autographed and all cards came with low print runs. One way around the print run thing was to issue multiple cards of the same player in the central Supreme Autographs portion of the set. And that’s exactly the case with deGrom.

deGrom’s signature also appears in 2014 Topps Supreme Supreme Stylings and Simply Supreme as well as a dual autograph with Rafael Montero.

Parallels: Green (/45), Sepia (/35), Purple (/25), Blue (/20), Orange (/15), Red (/10), Black (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Supreme (1/1)

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2014 Topps Update Trajectory Autographs Jacob deGrom #TA-JDE

“Affordable” is a relative term when it comes to rookie-year Jacob deGrom autographs now. However, that’s exactly what this card is. Out of the year’s MLB set, this is likely the cheapest signature collectors will find now.

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2014 Topps Update Trajectory Autographs Jacob deGrom

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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1 comment

  1. Carl Quick 18 April, 2021 at 17:28

    You got it wrong both times! It’s not Birmingham and it’s not Binghampton, it’s Binghamton.

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