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Value of Derek Jeter Baseball Card Skyrockets

NY- [NY Daily News]- Here’s a Derek Jeter error that’s actually worth treasuring – for now.

The Yankee captain’s unusual 2007 Topps baseball card, which features digitally superimposed images of President Bush and Mickey Mantle, skyrocketed in price yesterday after it appeared on the cover of the Daily News.

The card, which could have been had for just $2 earlier this week, sold for as much as $370 late yesterday on eBay, with some sellers specifically touting, “as seen on the cover of the Daily News.”

“I knew the stock market went down today and it might not be a bad time to consider investing in baseball cards,” said Craig Pellis, 43, who purchased a card on the Internet auction site for $250. “It was like lightning hit me – I simply had to have it.”

“It’s been about 20 years since I’ve collected baseball cards,” continued Pellis, who runs a catering business in Mount Kisco, Westchester County, “but maybe this one puts my 5-year-old through college.”

But baseball card experts warned the Jeter card’s value could be fleeting.

“In a week’s time, the value fell from $20 to $6 and then went up to several hundred dollars after the mainstream media attention,” said Brian Fleischer, editor of the Beckett Baseball Price Guide.

“We estimate that there could be close to 100,000 of these cards out there, so it simply won’t be scarce enough to stay expensive,” Fleischer said. “It’s going to be near impossible for the cards to keep this value.”

Topps has said that the card – which comes in five differently colored versions – would not be recalled, though it would be corrected when the complete 2007 set is issued over the summer.

The card depicts Jeter at the plate at Yankee Stadium with Joe Torre, Jorge Posada and the late Mickey Mantle looking on from the Yankees dugout. The Mick is in full uniform, holding a bat in his hand as if he was set to pinch-hit for Alex Rodriguez.

But perhaps even more jarring is the presence of the commander in chief watching from the stands, even though Bush was not in the Bronx that day.

“The pictures were added as sort of a last-minute joke and we decided that, you know, baseball cards are meant to be fun, so let’s keep them in,” said Clay Luraschi, a Topps spokesman, who added that a Yankees fan came up with the prank.

Luraschi said Topps had a longstanding agreement with the Mantle estate to use the image of the Yankees legend, which a spokesman for the Mick’s family confirmed yesterday.

Though the card company has no official agreement with the White House to use Bush’s likeness, an administration official said that no action will be taken against Topps.

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