Ball Signed by Derek Jeter's Little League Team Sells at Auction for $36,000

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 24, 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 25: CEO Derek Jeter of the Miami Marlins waits to speak to the media after the press conference to announce the World Baseball Classic will be held in Miami next year on February 25, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images

The recent trend of people spending tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars on a wide range of sports-memorabilia items continued Saturday when Darren Rovell of The Action Network reported a bidder paid $36,000 for a baseball signed by an eight-year-old Derek Jeter, who would grow up and become the New York Yankees shortstop for 20 years.

Darren Rovell @darrenrovell

One of the most shocking sales of the recent memorabilia bump just closed. This ball, signed by then 8-year-old Derek Jeter and his little league team, just sold in a @GoldinAuctions sale for $36,000. The same ball sold for $4,338 in a @Lelandsdotcom sale 5 1/2 years ago. https://t.co/VA5GL8atd1

The baseball is also signed by some of Jeter's former Little League teammates.

As Rovell noted, a recent "memorabilia bump" has taken place. That bump is perhaps best characterized by someone paying $922,500 for a rookie card of Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, per Daniel Roberts of Yahoo Finance.

Goldin Auctions CEO Ken Goldin provided a theory as to why the card and memorabilia markets have "increased exponentially since the lockdown," in his words to Roberts.

"Because a lot of wealthy people don't have anything to spend their money on. A lot of them pulled their money out of the stock market and they want hard assets... It's been on an upward trajectory for the past several years—the modern card market started taking off with six-figure numbers in 2015—but the past six months have been unbelievable. And the past three months have just been shocking."

The memorabilia boom extends past cards and typical items: Per Rovell, someone just paid $19,500 for a $15,000 wire slip that Michael Jordan signed in 1998, made out to Trump Indiana, Inc. to acquire some money to gamble at Donald Trump's old casino in Gary, Indiana.

As for Jeter, the shortstop won five World Series and was a first-ballot Hall of Famer as part of the class of 2019. He is the Miami Marlins' CEO these days, in addition to being a part-owner of the franchise.

The ex-Bronx Bomber played Little League ball in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he grew up and graduated high school. The Yankees took him with the sixth overall pick in the 1992 MLB draft. He had a cup of coffee in the big leagues in 1995 before becoming the Yanks' full-time starting shortstop in 1996.

The 14-time All-Star finished his career with 3,465 hits, which ranks sixth all-time.