TOTALLY FAKE BASEBALL CARDS: 29 Derek Jeters you won’t see in 2011 … and one you just might

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By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

The biggest drama in the baseball world these days is tailor-made for the major media outlets to chew on as it revolves around the most successful franchise in all of American sports, the 27-time champion New York Yankees, and its most-heralded modern-day player and career hits leader, Derek Jeter.

There really might not be a surer thing in today’s sports card world than Jeter, the icon of all icons in the country’s biggest media market, a player who gets a lot of the attention — and a lot of the credit for his team’s success — even if his batting average drops 64 points in a season.

And that’s precisely what has happened — both in the credit over the years and his fall in performance this past year. And that’s precisely why there’s a chance he might not be a Yankee next season, when he’ll likely become just the 28th member of the hallowed 3,000-hit club.

The dreams of many a memorabilia dealer might be dashed if that milestone is reached in anything other than Yankees pinstripes. After all, for all of the Yankees’ most-historic names — Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and so on — none of them ever reached 3,000.

When, or if, Jeter hits 3,000 in Yankee Stadium? It will be one of those moments (you know, one without home runs and allegations later) that Major League Baseball has needed for some time, one of those moments that could carry some serious interest in cardboard and memorabilia.

Could all the oomph that Jeter carries among baseball fans — and particularly collectors — fade if he ends up elsewhere? Does he become Public Enemy No. 1 in New York if he were to somehow end up at shortstop for, say, the Boston Red Sox?

There are a lot of “what-ifs” with the Jeter case … one where he has an offer of $15 million a year for three years reportedly on the table from the Yanks (not good enough) and also one where he’s been told to shop his talents around MLB. After all, you can’t blame a guy for not wanting a pay cut, right?

Can you see Jeter in anything other than a Yankees uniform? It might be tough — but it’s not tough here as the curiosity got the best of me.

You can see for yourself — after the jump.

You won’t see the baseball cards presented here anywhere in 2011 — though I’ll confess I’d like to see one of these show up in, say, 2011 Topps Heritage as the look is modeled after a 1962 Topps card — but there will be at least one that is right.

After all, he has to end up somewhere, right?

With one portion Photoshop skills and one even bigger serving of PhotoChoppery, I assembled this collection of 30 cards. (Sure, a few have a big head here and there, but, hey, he just might be turning down $15 million to play for the Yankees … that takes some ego.)

First, though, here are five scenarios that gave me a chuckle — and you can see all 30 possibilities in the gallery below.

1. Jeter to the Pittsburgh Pirates: It’ll never happen, so soak it up here. We all know that with Jeter’s infallible leadership the Bucs would undoubtedly have their first winning season since 1992 — and, of course, they’d also win the World Series in 2011. The real disappointment for Jeter wouldn’t be the money or change of scenery — it’d be his forced uniform number change. (An “inside source” says the equipment manager will not cough up No. 2. He’s a Red Sox fan.)

2. Jeter to the Oakland Athletics: We all know A’s General Manager Billy Beane has money to burn this season — Eric Chavez is off the books — and we all know Beane likes “damaged goods” players as reclamation projects to flip at mid-season for a boatload of prospects. Now’s the time to exact revenge for the Yankees landing all those big-name A’s through the years — Reggie, Catfish, Mike Gallego, Jason Giambi — and take the one from the Yanks that will hurt. (And to add insult to injury, then trade him to the Red Sox at the deadline …) Get on it, Beane!

3. Jeter to the St. Louis Cardinals: We all know Cardinals fans will be bumming when … err if … Albert Pujols leaves via free agency, so perhaps a throwback-type of player will help soothe  wounds? How about by signing a player who’ll remind fans of a past star, a Gold Glover with real range that can rekindle visions of absolute Wizardry with his defense? Oh, wait … nevermind.

4. Jeter to the Colorado Rockies: Seriously, we all know that 64-point drop in Jeter’s batting average from 2009 to 2010 was a fluke. His numbers just can’t be in decline as he’s entering his late-thirties. Really. Sure, Denver has Tim Tebow to compete with, but if you put up numbers you can’t be forgotten … and your numbers can’t go down in Denver. The Rockies already have a star shortstop? Um, well …

5. Jeter returns to the Yankees: While part of me thinks that the top card seen here (Jeter to the Red Sox) might be the best way for a snubbed star to exact his revenge, this long-time Yankee hater (Yep, I said it.) hopes that Jeter — and the Yanks — but all the egos aside and do what’s right for the game and the franchise that he’s been a part of his entire career.

Let’s hope a baseball card like this one can be released in 2011.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

How about the rest of the teams? See them below. (Click for a closer look.)

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52 comments

  1. President Obama 25 November, 2010 at 12:00

    Jeter grew up a tigers fan so the only other uniform i could see him in is detroit. but as a tigers fan myself, i’d rather have jhonny peralta at shortstop.

  2. NYY Logo Girl 29 November, 2010 at 03:54

    Great job! I will tell you as a Yankees fan this is totally painful. Nonetheless, he ads a touch of class to any uniform. The Yankees are lucky to have been graced with his presence all these years. He is a model player. Looking forward to seeing him hit 3000 as a NYY.

  3. Eric W. Kent 30 November, 2010 at 12:57

    No – Jeter did not grow up a Tigers fan. As a Tigers fan, it’s one of the many reasons I can’t stand him. His father was a Tigers fan – but he claims he grew up a Yankees fan because his grandma lived in New Jersey and he spent summers there.

  4. TrueTigerFan78 30 November, 2010 at 23:28

    I agree with the other comment…I’d rather have Peralta or Santiago than Jeter…he is all NY hype…he couldn’t carry Trammell’s jock!!

  5. Anonymous 1 December, 2010 at 07:59

    Oh that’s sick. Why did I ever click on this site? The Sawks uniform is a killer, a fate worse than death for my hero.

  6. Hot Toast Report: “Would you like some toast?” « The Fair Base Ballist 1 December, 2010 at 09:54

    […] Derek Jeter has been causing something of a stir. Supposedly, his representatives have actually been contacted by teams other than the Yankees! GASP! I would be shocked if this amounted to anything whatsoever. Fans and media like to indulge in a little off-season soap opera drama, and I think that is why it’s being played up. Derek Jeter has been a Yankee, is a Yankee, and will be a Yankee. (Did you see the fun that The Beckett Blog had with these rumors? Behold.) […]

  7. Tom 1 December, 2010 at 11:05

    In response to jtimes 19, If your pen name is any indication of your age at 19, you don’t know enough about real Red Sox fans. Of course we would love to have Jeter. A future HOF! Whose been playing shortstop for us the last 10 years? Exactly, no one worth remembering. Jeter would not only bring his talent, but his leadership. And the fact that it would piss the Yankees off, would make this a no brainer. Get your head out of your a##, and think about winning more than whining about the Yankees!

  8. NYJ 1 December, 2010 at 13:27

    RE: Historic Yankees/3000 hits
    To be fair…
    *Ruth spent his first 5 years primarily as a pitcher; otherwise he makes 3000 easily
    *Gehrig had over 2700 hit when he was forced to pull himself at 36; otherwise he makes 3000 easily
    *DiMaggio lost 3 years to WWII, most of another to injury; outside shot at 3000 otherwise
    *Mantle was famously ravaged by injuries; a knee injury suffered in his rookie year never fully healed and led to 17 years leg problems. He still managed 2400 and retired fairly young at 36.
    *NONE of these players had the benefit of 162 game schedule other than Mantl, and him only in the second half of his career.

  9. turn2 1 December, 2010 at 14:47

    Jeter did not grow up as a tigers fan, he might have grown up and played little league in Michigan but any interview he’s done he said he grew up a yankee fan b/c of his grandma in new jersey is a yankee fan

  10. Arrow 2 December, 2010 at 10:17

    What possibilities! Put him in some really ugly throwbacks — I’d love to see him in those hideous old Astros orange stripes, or White Sox spread-collar-and-shorts. Or give him an Oscar Gamble ‘fro.

  11. Brian 4 December, 2010 at 11:14

    Problem: Jeter’s wearing his customary #2 in his Cardinals card, but the Redbirds have retired #2 for Red Schoendienst, and it won’t get unretired for anyone.

  12. watchman 4 December, 2010 at 15:35

    My top 3 if the Yankees don’t work out:

    1. Redsox -if Ruth can go from Yanks to Sox, why can’t Jeter do the opposite.

    2. Cubs -they need whatever help they can get.

    3. A’s -he looks good in green. young pitching on the rise.

  13. delvon ferguson 4 December, 2010 at 17:48

    once a yankee, always a yankee. he signed for 3 years 17million per with a 4th option. that pretty much assures he will retire as a yankee.

  14. devan 6 December, 2010 at 12:32

    i would hate it if jeter goes to any other teams
    i will hate base ball and it will be rouind

    GO YANKEES

  15. Brendan 5 July, 2011 at 06:18

    Jeter is awsome and they where having bad luck without jeter i play ss on my team and i wish i can learn from him

  16. glen pierce 20 August, 2012 at 00:07

    I was thinking today that someone should design a software to make one’s own “what if” baseball card to print on a color printer. just for fun. and it looks like you are close to doing it. seem’s like the big shot baseball card people should make such a software. and use their present cards as a computer starter file.

    i would like to see some of my 1958’s favorites like Gino Cimoli, Hal W. Smith, have different uniforms just for fun.

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