My latest pick-up …


My latest pick-up made via a trade was a game-used Atlanta Braves jersey worn on Aug. 15, 2015 — the night Swisher hit his first home run as a member of the team and No. 242 for his career. It’s MLB Authenticated and cost a lot less — a lot less — than you might think. Some high-end boxes of sports cards cost more.

Even cooler? Here’s a shot of Swisher watching the homer leave Turner Field.



New item: 1975 Topps Steve Swisher Rookie Card photograph slide

My latest vintage addition … 1975 Topps Steve Swisher Rookie Card slide

I may not own a Pristine copy of Steve Swisher‘s 1975 Topps Rookie Card, but my latest edition seems even more unique and interesting than any high-grade copy of a card older than I am.

It’s the slide or color transparency used to make the card and it was recently sold via the Topps Vault, Topps’ online sales arm that brings remnants of past card creations back to life and helps get them into collectors’ pockets.

The negative is just as it was recently found in an envelope in the company’s files — but now is mounted in a sealed case on a white cardboard slip. It doesn’t scan all that well, but you get the idea from what’s seen here.

There’s likely only one — at least only one that was saved — and it’s mine. I picked off his 1976 image as well, landing both for a lot less than the price of a new Topps wax box.

Do you have a Swisher item I might want? Contact me on Twitter,@chrisolds2009.

Swish in my work: Orlando Sentinel Spring Training preview

I often found a way to have my profession — journalism — cross paths with my hobby before my current job made that meshing permanent. Here’s one where Nick Swisher had a prominent place in one project almost entirely by accident.

In late 2006 during a lull one night while working the copy desk at the Orlando Sentinel, I hopped on eBay to see what Swisher stuff I could find. I found the game-used bat you see at the bottom of the above image — firewood, really — for $50 Buy it Now. At that point, I didn’t have a game-used bat — just a signed pro stock bat — so the credit card couldn’t come out of the wallet fast enough.

In the auction listing, the seller noted that it was from a game on July 23, 2006, in Detroit. On a whim — after it was bought, of course — I checked Getty Images to see if I could research anything from that game. What did I find? An exact photo of the bat being used. You can’t beat that when it comes to authentication. (At higher resolution on this photo and one more from the play, you can match specs of pine tar on the bat in the photos to those on my firewood.)

A few months later — for the newspaper’s 2007 Spring Training preview special section — the combo was the centerpiece of an infographic about the life of a baseball bat from forest to death (and beyond as a game-used baseball card). I pitched that idea for information and aesthetic for the entire section with this exact item in mind.

I wrote, researched and gathered the info for the spread while one of our designers, Adam Shiver, pulled it all together. You’ll see a few other baseball-card related items on the entire package.

Click on the image above to read the story of the Swisher bat — and see the full doubletruck infographic from the newspaper after the jump.

Do you have a Swisher item I might want? Contact me on Twitter, @chrisolds2009.

Continue reading Swish in my work: Orlando Sentinel Spring Training preview

It’s not too tough to collect Nick Swisher’s dad, either …

As a kid, I collected Jose Canseco, who had a twin brother who played baseball. Never knew that until after I started collecting — so it was a bonus.

As it turns out, Nick Swisher’s dad, Steve, played in the major leagues, too, and later managed in the minors. He was an All-Star (barely — good story there) and appears on 44 different baseball cards with his Rookie Card arriving in 1975 Topps.

While I can’t say I have tracked them all down — it wouldn’t be too tough so it’s on the eternal to-do list — I have picked up some interesting items here and there that I’ll showcase here from time to time.

How’s this for starters? It’s Steve Swisher’s 1981 Topps baseball card contract straight from The Topps Vault.

He signed it on March 25, 1981, which makes it his last contract with the company and, for trivia’s sake, the only one signed after his future All-Star (barely — good story there, too) was born.

Do you have a Swisher item I might want? Contact me on Twitter, @chrisolds2009. … the beginning

Here is where, from time to time, I will post images and brief descriptions of the Nick Swisher cards and memorabilia in my collection. Over time, my goal to have everything in the stash documented right here.

Do you have a Swisher item I might want? Contact me on Twitter, @chrisolds2009.