Rewind to a year ago and New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom was one of the hottest autographs in the hobby simply because of one thing.
He didn’t have that much cardboard — signed or not.
This year, the big-haired right-hander in The Big Apple is working his way toward a potential World Series appearance with his Mets, building upon his 14-8 campaign as the reigning NL Rookie of the Year. And, just like last year, he’s got some pretty warm cardboard as he’s on the mound in Wrigley Field taking on the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series tonight.
He’s got just one MLB-approved product where collectors can find on-card autographs — he has a pair of Real One Autos in 2014 Topps Heritage High Number, a standard auto and a red-ink auto limited to only 10 copies. His only other Topps autos were found in 2014 Topps Supreme, which is a parallel- and sticker-heavy product, and a single auto in 2014 Topps Finest where he was one of the Mystery Redemptions He has more than 50 different autographs in Supreme among the 70-plus different autographs made in his rookie year.
The remainder of deGrom’s autographs from his rookie year come from 2014 Panini America brands — cards in National Treasures, Classics, Donruss The Rookies and even an appearance in the company’s Black Friday promo set.
While on-card autos on MLB-logo cards are typically the collector favorite, it seems deGrom’s National Treasures patch autos and high-end specimens from his rookie year are top sellers on eBay in recent days. Printing plate patches and autographed game-used button cards were tops, fetching as much as $1,000.
Meanwhile, BGS 9.5 graded copies of his standard Heritage autograph — cards that aren’t serial-numbered — have sold for as much as $200, while raw copies have topped the $100 mark. Real One autographs are packed one card inside every 100-card factory set for last year’s release.