Saturday, March 17, 2007

Baseball card of Jeter shows President Bush, Mickey Mantle

Baseball card of Jeter shows President Bush, Mickey Mantle
Posted 2/27/2007 2:12 PM ET

NEW YORK (AP) — As President Bush smiled and waved from the stands and Mickey Mantle looked on from the dugout, Derek Jeter swung his bat.

Talk about pressure.

The game never happened, of course. It was just someone's idea of a visual gag — pulled off in a recent Topps baseball card through digital manipulation.

"We saw it in the final proof and we could have axed it," Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "But we decided to let it run, we wanted to print it. We thought it was hilarious."

The card will be changed when Topps issues a complete set at midseason, Luraschi said.

Jeter said he had not seen the card.

"I don't know anything about it," the All-Star shortstop said after New York's workout Tuesday in Tampa "I can't tell you anything."

Luraschi did not identify the person at Topps who made the alteration on Jeter's card, No. 40 in the set. Luraschi said that fixing it before it was released would have caused shipping delays.

It's not the first card to have silly errors or odd prints, said T.S. O'Connell, the editor of Sports Collector's Digest.

"For collectors, there's a real giggle factor for something like this," he told the Daily News.

The Daily News put the story on its front page Tuesday and Newsday also reported it.

The Jeter card could join other famed oddball cards, like the 1969 Topps of Aurelio Rodriguez. That card featured a photo of a bat boy instead of the infielder.

Another collector said the joke would raise the price of the card, which currently goes for $2 on eBay.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted 2/27/2007 2:12 PM ET

Copyright 2007 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's just like old times

It's just like old times
March 13, 2007

TAMPA, Fla. -- When Andy Pettitte strode out to the mound at high noon yesterday at Legends Field, he might have blinked in the bright sunlight and done a double-take. There was one captain, shortstop Derek Jeter, fielding a practice grounder and firing across the diamond to his predecessor, first baseman Don Mattingly.

But Pettitte had been briefed beforehand. He knew that for this simulated game he would be reunited on the field with Donnie Baseball, who was Pettitte's teammate in 1995 - Mattingly's last big-league season and Pettitte's first.

"When he told me that, I loved it!" Pettitte said after his four-inning, 56-pitch stint. "Guys were giving me a hard time about staying back here . But I told them, 'Cap's coming out for me.' It was funny."

Seeing Mattingly play the field was part of what made yesterday's simulated game a little different. There also was the sight of Andy Phillips trying to make up for some lost time by taking nine at-bats against Pettitte.

Phillips was the first batter Pettitte faced and he grounded out, Jeter to Mattingly. That at-bat lasted four pitches. Phillips started toward the dugout but was told to go right back to the plate, where he struck out on three pitches. Phillips went 2-for-9, including an opposite-field double to right.

"It's hard to get used to grounding out and then running back and hitting again," Phillips said with a laugh. "I felt like I was in the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where the same guy keeps swinging."

The lighthearted nature of yesterday's exercise was further apparent when, in the third of Pettitte's innings, a ground ball scooted past Mattingly's glove side for a single.

"He gave me a bad break on a ground ball to first. He's not moving quite like he used to. His reaction time's not real good," Pettitte joked. "I was thinking, 'Just don't get hit with a bad hop.' I'd feel terrible."

In fact, though, Pettitte was beaming after his third "start" of spring training. The finger that was hit with a bat shard last time out didn't bother him and catcher Jorge Posada said his fastball hit 91 mph.

"Mechanically, it felt good. Got some good fatigue in my shoulder. It was a good day," Pettitte said. "I feel like I'm getting stronger. It's spring training. I'm just trying to build my endurance up. I'm not throwing too many cutters - that's arm strength. But I threw a few more today."

Phillips was serious about facing live pitching in preparation for today's starting assignment, his first since leaving the Yankees after his mother was badly hurt in a car accident two weeks ago. "His stuff was pretty good. There was life on his fastball and his breaking ball was sharp," Phillips said.

Mattingly's glove was sharp, too, even if his feet aren't as quick as they used to be. In Pettitte's final inning, Mattingly easily fielded a chopper and expertly flipped to Pettitte covering first for the out. On the next-to-last batter, Jeter sidearmed a throw that short-hopped the nine-time Gold Glove winner. Mattingly made the clean scoop for the putout.

Later Jeter joked that he deliberately tested Mattingly. The old captain passed one test. Pettitte passed another.

Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Clever gag slips through onto Derek Jeter's baseball card

Clever gag slips through onto Derek Jeter's baseball card
Story Published: Feb 27, 2007 at 10:14 AM PST
Story Updated: Feb 27, 2007 at 4:03 PM PST
By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - As President Bush smiled and waved from the stands and Mickey Mantle looked on from the dugout, Derek Jeter swung his bat. Talk about pressure.

The game never happened, though. It was just someone's idea of a visual gag - pulled off in a recent Topps baseball card through digital manipulation.

"Somewhere in between the final proofing and its printing, someone at our company - and we won't name names - thought it would be funny to put in Bush and Mantle," said Clay Luraschi, a spokesman for Topps in Tuesday's edition of the Daily News.

The president's image is superimposed on the picture, while whoever played the trick took some time blending Mantle into the background of Jeter's card, No. 40 in the set.

Luraschi said that the gag was discovered during proofing of the card, but that it was already in the set. "We couldn't do anything but laugh," he said.

It's not the first card to have silly errors or odd prints, said T.S. O'Connell, the editor of Sports Collector's Digest. "For collectors, there's a real giggle factor for something like this," he said.

The Jeter card could join other famed oddball cards, like the 1969 Topps of Aurelio Rodriguez. That card featured a photo of a bat boy instead of the infielder.

Another collector said the joke would raise the price of the card, which currently goes for $2 on eBay.

Jeter told the News said he didn't know anything about the card. A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Luraschi said he doesn't know whether the card would be corrected in the future.

KOMO-TV140 Fourth Ave. North, Seattle, WA 98109

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Focus for Jeter is on winning a title

03/07/2007 9:00 AM ET
Focus for Jeter is on winning a title
Yankees' captain says getting to the playoffs isn't good enough
By Bryan Hoch /

TAMPA, Fla. -- A cursory glance at the Yankees' last campaign reveals promising highlights and opportunities for the members of the 2006 squad to thump their collective chests and look back with some fondness.
Yes, the Yankees' season ended too early for the organization's taste, abruptly coming to a close by dropping the American League Division Series to the Detroit Tigers. But the Yankees brought home their ninth straight division title, tied for the Major League lead with 97 wins, and led the big leagues with 930 runs scored.

Shouldn't that count for something? It's not good enough, Derek Jeter says.

"A lot of guys who haven't won might say that," Jeter said. "A lot of guys with other teams might say that. Here [in New York], it was a wasted year. That's the bottom line, and that's how it goes. Nobody is walking around saying, 'Oh, we had a great year last year.' It was a wasted year, because we play to win."

As Jeter spoke, he sat at his Legends Field locker, stuffing items into a midnight blue duffel bag for an afternoon road trip. Even with his attention diverted and three exhibition at-bats at St. Petersburg on tap, it's clear that Jeter's focus never wavers.

Jeter arguably gave the Yankees his finest all-around season last year, finishing second in the AL Most Valuable Player voting, while bringing home a Silver Slugger Award and his third consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

Those sorts of personal achievements might play in other locales or organizations where playing in October isn't considered an annual right, but Jeter is wise enough to understand that the street credibility of such honors loses quite a bit of value within the city limits of New York.

Perhaps more than ever, with a six-year title drought hanging over the Yankees' heads, the ring is the thing up around 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx.

"It's no good. You sense it because you're going home," Jeter said. "You're watching another team win, that's how you sense it. You put a lot of work in to win a championship. If you don't do it, man, it's a wasted year. The only sign is how you feel afterward."

So Jeter looks toward the reconstruction of the Yankees and barely bats an eyelash. The corner locker previously owned by Bernie Williams no longer houses either the outfielder's sweet stroke or his music, perhaps the only roster change in the Spring Training clubhouse that disappoints Jeter.

Everything else is just icing. Among the more notable moves, Andy Pettitte is fitting in like he never left, filling the role of left-handed starter vacated by Randy Johnson, who never really quite adjusted to life as a Yankees hurler.

And top to bottom, the Yankees' lineup has already drawn rave reviews -- notably, both Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon have crowed that it must be a frightening proposition for any pitcher to face such a solid lineup.

Robinson Cano, the Yankees' projected No. 7 hitter, finished third in the AL with a .342 batting average last season. If that's not a wealth of offense, what is?

"We've got a solid lineup," Jeter agrees, "but really, scoring runs has never been a problem for us. We've been scoring runs for a while. We've got a lot of guys who can hit and a lot of guys who can beat you. We're capable in scoring in a lot of ways."

It all translated to a grand total of 14 runs in the AL Division Series, and just six after Game 1. So excuse Jeter if he appears nonplussed by exhibition game rallies against a variety of pitchers who may or may not taste the big leagues this season.

"It's the first days of Spring Training," Jeter said. "It's the first days for us, it's the first day for pitchers. What happens really for the first few weeks of Spring Training has no bearing whatsoever on the season. You just want everyone to get ready. You want no injuries and you want just to be rolling into the regular season."

It has been suggested that the clubhouse might feel a little fresher and more relaxed, but Jeter doesn't see it that way. He'll reserve judgment until he sees it play out on the field. Jeter has seen the assemblage fall short of the dreams far too many times this decade.

"Ever since we lost in 2001, it's always new guys coming in and new guys coming out," Jeter said.

As Jeter points out, there are still only four players in the Yankees' clubhouse -- Pettitte, catcher Jorge Posada, closer Mariano Rivera and himself -- who can claim ownership of a World Series ring from the team's four-title dynasty.

A new piece of hardware, Jeter said, that is long overdue.

"There's restlessness for everyone -- not just us four," Jeter said. "It's everyone who's in the organization. We play to win here. It's not to get to the playoffs or get to the World Series. It's to try and win a championship. Everyone should be restless."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

© 2001-2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Jeter card creates hunt for treasure

Jeter card creates hunt for treasure
By: Gene Morris
Tuesday, March 6, 2007 4:16 PM CST

It has been a good 26 years since I’ve opened packs of baseball cards with the frenzy I did last week. I got caught up in the hunt for the 2007 Topps No. 40 card of Derek Jeter.

The baseball card has been all over the news and, no doubt, was a driving source behind sales of the newly released issue.

Someone in the graphic design department at Topps digitally altered a photograph of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter swinging the bat at the plate. Standing in the dugout with a bat over his shoulder in the lower left corner of the card, is none other than Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle. President George W. Bush is waving in the stands on the upper right.

Please. Like a ploy of that nature would really sell more baseball cards.

So there I was at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Paola, buying boxes and then packs of baseball cards looking for the error.

It wasn’t my fault. Seriously. I had been traumatized.

Unable to sleep last Wednesday night, more than a little frazzled after getting caught in quite a thunderstorm coming home from taking pictures at the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at Union Station in Kansas City, I came across a newspaper with a picture of this “error” card of Jeter.

What is a baseball card collector to do? I had to go hunting for this card.

Besides, it was 2 a.m. and I didn’t really need to hear about some fountain of youth facial cream, learn how seaweed pills could change my life forever or study some plan on how to buy and sell real estate with no money down.

At the very least, this hunt for Jeter would keep me occupied.

On my first of three trips to Wal-Mart, I decided to buy a couple of boxes with 10 six-card packs in each one for $9.95. Opening those 20 packs, a total of 120 cards, yielded not one Jeter card.

I opened more and more packs. Even I have to admit this was a bit crazy after the seventh box. For those of you scoring at home, that’s zero Jeter error cards in 70 packs for a total of 420 cards.

“You are certainly determined,” one of the Wal-Mart associates said upon my return. “I would have given up by now.”

With no more of the special 10-pack boxes left, I moved on to the regular packs. I went through 30 of the $1.99, 12-card packs and finally pulled out the Jeter error card.

I put the card in a screw-down protective holder when I got home and showed it off at work later that morning. I got to thinking there had to be at least one more card of Jeter in the Wal-Mart shipment. Didn’t there? I went back out to the store Thursday afternoon. I had left all of 15 packs from 2007 Topps in their inventory.

Buying them one pack at a time, I got another Jeter card on the second pack and called it good.

My first Jeter card set me back about $130 in packs. The second, coming in only two packs, was less than $5. I should have started with just the two packs.

What is it worth? Well, the card is selling on eBay for anywhere from $30 on up to more than $300.

Rumors have surfaced that this card will be pulled and replaced with a corrected version for subsequent releases of the series’ one-packs.

If that happens, the error Jeter card with Mantle and Bush could skyrocket to the $500 range.

But the real fun is the hunt. The 2007 Topps cards are a winner anyway with the throwback 1971, black-border style and the updated pictures of players like Alfonso Soriano in a Cubs uniform and Gil Meche in a Royals jersey.

The series features some great insert sets with Distinguished Service, including President Harry Truman; three Mantle subsets with one featuring the classic 1952 Topps design; Own the Game; and Generation Now with today’s top young players.

When I started collecting baseball cards at the age of 7 in 1976, there wasn’t near as much to think about. I didn’t have to decide which brand to buy ? it was just Topps.

I got in some trouble with my parents for wasting my candy money on “worthless” pieces of cardboard, and the bubble gum had to be turned over to them, too. I tried some of it years later, and as it turns out, I wasn’t missing much.

You can’t put gum in packs today. Why, the collectors would get hopping mad if you messed up their rookie card with a gum stain.

I remember when a $5 lawn mowing job would load you up with a Big Gulp and 16 packs of cards.

What’s $130 to feel like a kid again and bring back some good memories? Ah, let the games begin with the hope that springs eternal.

This site and its contents Copyright © 2007 The Greater Kansas City Community Newspaper Group

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Rangers envision Young becoming their Jeter

Rangers envision Young becoming their Jeter
Evan Grant
Dallas Morning News
Mar. 4, 2007 12:00 AM

Derek Jeter is respected as the modern blueprint for a franchise player. He is a superb athlete, unfailingly competitive on the field, respected in the clubhouse and revered in the community.

And that's all the Texas Rangers expect from Michael Young.

In giving Young a five-year contract extension worth $80 million Friday, the club made it clear that he will be the beacon for the franchise and the brand. The extension, in concert with his current contract, will keep Young in Texas through 2013. Young is signed for $3.5 million this season, and the club has already exercised a $5 million option for 2008.

"I don't think we even need to say it," General Manager Jon Daniels said of similarities between Young and Jeter.

"The performance, their characteristics, they speak for themselves."

Since Young, 30, entered the league in 2001, his statistical profile has grown more and more similar to that of Jeter, 32. During the past four years, they've been almost identical.

They both have .316 batting averages, though Jeter has a sizable edge (.387 to .358) in on-base percentage. Young has better home run (74 to 66) and RBI (365 to 297) totals.

Last season, Young ranked as the No. 1 shortstop in baseball, just ahead of Jeter, according to the Elias Player Rankings.

The big difference, of course, is that Jeter has four World Series rings, though none of them since Young entered the league for good in 2001. Nevertheless, Jeter has been to the postseason every year this century; Young has never been.

"I hope there is a comparison to make because Derek has been a central figure for championship teams," Young said.

In 35 seasons in Texas, the Rangers have won one playoff game, and their mid-cities location makes them neither Dallas' nor Fort Worth's team.

Copyright © 2007, All rights reserved.

In 2007, anything is possible

In 2007, anything is possible
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Copyright © 2007 Republican-American

I guess that the answer to the nonstop saga that is Jeter and A-Rod lies in the fascinating world of digital photography.

This past week a baseball card caused quite a stir. And, no, I'm not talking about the famous Honus Wagner card that was recently purchased for $2.35 million. (Where do these people get their money?) It was a Topps Derek Jeter card and, unlike most such cards, this one included a bit more than a photo of the player, some out-of-date statistics and a clever comment ("... in the offseason Derek enjoys steel drum music.").

In the card, a few other rather famous faces can be clearly seen in the background (see the card in question to the right). That's President Bush strolling down the aisle looking for his seat, and that guy standing in the dugout sure looks a lot like old No. 7, Mickey Mantle.

Aside from the obvious question of how this happened (it was a digital gag during the production process that Topps thought was so funny that the company printed the card), a few other thoughts come to mind:

Bush has some baseball connections, sure, but where is Rudy Giuliani? Actually, the diehard Yankees fan might be in the real picture.

What will this card fetch on the online market? ($50 on e-Bay as of Saturday afternoon.)

In the playoff loss to the Tigers last October, the Yankees needed some offense, so why didn't Joe Torre call on that guy warming up in the dugout?

The ease with which this was accomplished, and the national attention it received, led me to wonder if the same technology could be used to soothe the Jeter vs. A-Rod relationship. You know, a little digital slight of hand.

For example, why not a photo distributed around the Internet of Jeter and A-Rod sitting at one of those outdoor cafes sipping green tea and chatting casually about the day? Or the two of them walking into a matinee. And we could tailor the photos to the city that they were playing in next.

In Boston, at the aquarium. In Chicago, gazing out from the Sears Tower. In Los Angeles, spinning wildly on a ride at Disneyland.

With little more than a few clicks of the mouse, we could make Jeter and A-Rod best friends again. Heck, if Mantle can pinch-hit and Bush can find his own seat, anything seems possible in 2007.

Executive sports editor Lee Lewis can be reached at

All content except otherwise noted © 1997-2007 American-Republican Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Bush, Mantle Show Up on Derek Jeter Baseball Card

Bush, Mantle Show Up on Derek Jeter Baseball Card (Update1)
By Larry DiTore

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Derek Jeter isn't even the most famous person on his own baseball card.

U.S. President George W. Bush and New York Yankees Hall of Fame outfielder Mickey Mantle appear superimposed on a card issued by Topps Co. that arrived in stores last week. It shows Jeter, the Yankees' shortstop, swinging at a ball, with the images of Bush and Mantle added in the background.

Bush is shown standing among the lower box seats at Yankee Stadium, his right hand waving to the crowd and his left hand missing. Mantle appears in the Yankees' dugout with a bat in his hands.

Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi said someone in the company's creative department inserted the images of the current president and the late Hall of Famer before the final proofing of the card, and the company chose to go ahead with the printing.

``We saw the card and we thought it was hilarious,'' Luraschi said in a telephone interview from the company's New York headquarters. ``We assumed everyone would get a kick out of it like we did, and that's how it's been so far.''

Jeter's card, No. 40 in Topps's new set for the 2007 season, likely would sell for $3 or $4 without the additions, said Brian Fleischer, a price-guide analyst for sports collectibles company

Fleischer said a collector could have bought the card for about $6 yesterday. Now, it's receiving bids as high as $202 on online auction site EBay Inc. A pack of about eight Topps cards costs $1.99.


``The hype surrounding it speaks for itself,'' Fleischer said in a telephone interview.

The New York Daily News reported that Jeter didn't know anything about the card's surprise guests.

Luraschi said the company hasn't heard from the Bush administration regarding the card, and White House spokesman Tony Fratto declined to address the topic.

``We're not commenting on this,'' Fratto said.

Topps has an exclusive arrangement with Mantle's estate to use the late player's image, Luraschi said.

The Jeter card is available in the individual baseball card packages on sale now. Topps won't correct the card until it begins selling the complete sets of the cards later this year, Luraschi said. He said he didn't know how many of the cards would be printed.

Shares of Topps fell 20 cents to $9.03 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Larry DiTore in New York at

Last Updated: February 27, 2007 16:24 EST

Jeter and Jordan's celebrity getaway

Jeter and Jordan's celebrity getaway
Barbara Barker
February 28, 2007

TAMPA, Fla. -- There are still places in the world where people don't care whether Derek Jeter is still tight with Alex Rodriguez. In fact, there are still places where people don't know who Derek Jeter is, or at least don't recognize his face.

For six glorious days this offseason, Jeter experienced the anonymity of being a regular guy. For the first time in his adult life, he could cross a street without someone yelling out his name. He could smile at a girl without someone taking his picture. If he wanted, he could go for an entire afternoon without talking about baseball.

"There's this great area in Berlin where I walked through thousands of people," Jeter recalled wistfully this week at the Yankees' spring training facility. "I don't think anyone knew who I was."

Of course, it helped that Jeter's traveling companion deflected a lot of attention by being one of the few athletes in this world more recognizable than Jeter.

Several days after the Yankees lost to the Tigers in the first round of the playoffs, Michael Jordan called Jeter and told him what he needed to do was get out of New York - way out of New York. He invited Jeter to join him on a whirlwind European tour, visiting Paris, London, Milan, Berlin, Hamburg and Barcelona in six days.

The two first met when Jordan was in the midst of his brief baseball experiment in 1994 and 1995 and Jeter was in the minor leagues. Jeter said they have been friends since.

On the town with Michael Jordan in Europe: OK, so it wasn't your standard regular-guy experience. But you get the picture. Instead of holing up in his apartment and watching the Tigers take what should have been the Yankees' place in the American League Championship Series, Jeter was drinking lattes, or something stronger, and watching the sun set over a beautiful piazza. Thanks to Jordan, who was on a tour promoting his line of merchandise, the Yankees' captain got the change of scenery he needed, a breather from being the walking personification of everything that is right and not quite right with the Yankees.

Jordan is one of the few people in the world who could have understood what Jeter was thinking after the Yankees collapsed in the first round. Few athletes have gotten more out of their career than Jordan - six championship rings and more fame and fortune than any player in his sport. Yet Jordan, too, has had his very public disappointments, such as failing to win an NBA title until his seventh season. And he always found the best thing one could do is move on to the next game.

What Jeter, 32, needs most is to pull a midcareer Jordan and put his recent disappointments behind him. He has to forget that the Yankees haven't won a ring since 2000, and concentrate on how good it felt when he won four in his first five years.

One gets the feeling that Jordan, 44, would trade a portion of his vast fortune for one more chance to be Jeter's age, to be in the prime of his career with a chance to win another championship. Or two. Jeter knows he has to make the most of his chances now.

"I realize that there's going to be an end to all of this some day," Jeter said, looking around the clubhouse.

So Jeter is back and talking as optimistically as ever. His detractors say he is an ice prince, a nearly perfect baseball player who frustrates some because he is unwilling to share or reveal any of his personal life. That, more than anything, seemed to fuel the three-day back-page minidrama concerning the state of his friendship with A-Rod.

Yet it's easy to see why Jeter is reticent to talk about his personal life: He has to fight to have one. While the rest of the world fights for its 10 minutes of fame, the highlight of Jeter's vacation is a 10-minute walk through a plaza where no one stops him. Jeter had never been to Europe, and it seemed almost a personal revelation that there was a place out there where he could go and be just another person.

"I loved it," he said. "I can't wait to go back ... But I've got some other things to take care of first."

The Extraordinary Tourists

Derek Jeter's six-day vacation with Michael Jordan to some of Europe's greatest cities sure beat the Yankees' Oakland-Anaheim-Seattle West Coast road trip.



Barcelona, Spain



Hamburg, Germany
Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.