More than two dozen lots originating in the collection of former New York Yankees scout Dick Groch, including a page from his original scouting report on high school prospect Derek Jeter, will find new homes this weekend.
Groch has also turned over his personal 1996 Yankees World Series championship trophy, the Topps “All-Star Scout” award he received that year for signing Jeter out of high school, his Yankees suitcase, a group of eight Jeter signed World Series baseballs and other items to Heritage Auctions.
They’re among the items in the company’s Platinum Night catalog.
Groch kept a low profile in hopes of not tipping off other teams to Jeter’s talents on the diamond in Kalamazoo, MI back in the early 1990s, eventually convincing the Yankees to draft Jeter. There had been talk that Jeter might decide to accept a scholarship offer from the University of Michigan, prompting some debate. Groch is said to have famously remarked, “The only place Derek Jeter is going is to Cooperstown.” In fact, there’s a group of nine baseballs signed by Groch with that inscription in the auction.
Jeter wound up falling to the Yankees, who had the sixth overall pick that year.
In the days following the draft, Jeter signed a couple of baseballs with the year “1992” and “New York Yankees” inscribed. Penned in the original signature style he utilized as a young minor leaguer, the ball in the auction is one of those two acquired by Groch 30 years ago.
Groch’s handwritten scouting report on Jeter sold for over $100,000 in 2017. Now, the pink carbon copy of that report is back on the block. Heritage says it’s expected to bring $60,000 or more.
Among the other items from Groch’s baseball collection that are being offered is a dual signed Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig ball, another inked by Ty Cobb and a third signed by Cy Young upon throwing out the first pitch at the Little League World Series in 1955, not long before he died.
The auction is set to close over two sessions this weekend.