Wednesday, May 9, 2012

no. 47 - johnny jeter

Who is the man: Johnny Jeter is the FIRST Jeter to play in a major league baseball game. Derek Jeter is the third (Johnny's son, Shawn Jeter, was the second).

Can ya dig it: I don't know what to love more, the helmet-cap combo or the old-style batting cage.

Right on: First solo card for Jeter!

You see this cat Jeter is a bad mother: Jeter hit two home runs in a game against the Mets when he was with the Padres in 1972. Unfortunately for Jeter, the Padres lost the game, 8-6.

Shut your mouth: The Padres acquired Jeter at the end of the 1971 season to be their starting center fielder. In 1972, Jeter played in more games (110) than he would any other year of his career. But he hit just .221 and the Padres traded him after the season to the White Sox.

No one understands him but his woman: Why "Johnny" when he signed his name "John"?

(A word about the back): A Louisiana native, Jeter attended Grambling State University in Grambling, La. A dozen Grambling State players have made it to the major leagues. The most successful of those is Ralph Garr, who played on the same Grambling team as Jeter in the 1960s.


  1. Around 1997, I convinced a group of kids that Johnny Jeter was Derek Jeter's dad, which led to a local rush on his cards at my local card stores. Seems my tall tales were stronger than anything the proprietors of these shops could tell the kids. I can be a real bastard sometimes.

  2. I unfortunately used to wear the hat under the helmet too. Those damn helmets never seemed to fit me.

  3. For some reason, I really liked Jeter with the Sox.
    Wow, an outfield with Jeter and Garr had some amazing speed.
    Jeter missed playing with Garr on the Sox by a few years.

  4. Jeter is a classic example of a AAAA player but at the time, I thought Jeter would be next great pirate outfielder. Defense, speed, a little pop in his bat, hit for good average (in the minors)

  5. I'd read somewhere that the signatures on cards often (sometimes?) came from the contract the player signed with Topps, and as a legal document the players might sign their legal name rather than what they went by. That might explain the "John/Johnny" discrepancy.

    ...Or maybe it's just Topps deciding for themselves what the player should be called, like they did with "Bob Clemente".

  6. I've got that card and I held on to it because I love the cap under the batting helmet. Oh yea, he's also my favorite Jeter.