Been too long … looking back at a cool 1/1

 

Way back in Beckett Baseball No. 42, I profiled sketch card artist Paul Lempa who paints his sketch cards with immaculate detail. It was a fun story that I enjoyed — but not as much as some of his work. Well after the story appeared in the mag, a Nick Swisher one-of-a-kind painted sketch card showed up in my mailbox. The scan does it no justice as the texture on this one is just as interesting as the painting itself. (Let’s hope I can post more this year … )

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

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One of my favorite Nick Swisher game-used Relics …

 

There are a lot of game-used Relic cards out there — and plenty for Nick Swisher just like most guys these days — but this set, these Allen & Ginter minis, are among my annual favorites.

This is Swish’s 2006 Allen & Ginter Relic, which has a piece of a game-used jersey embedded into the framed mini. I have plenty of them — and I’ll always pick up more of them when the price is right.

The first Ginter set will always be a favorite of many but the Relics have actually improved in little ways the last few years. So far, I have them all when it comes to Swisher.

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

Well, I’m halfway there on the Nick Swisher 2007 Allen & Ginter “EXT” printing plate rainbow …

The Allen & Ginter line launched by Topps in 2006 is, hands down, my favorite brand of the last decade, and that’s reflected in my Nick Swisher collection to a degree.

I don’t own each and every version of all of his Ginter minis — in fact, it’s kind of embarrassing how many I don’t own — but I always have put a lot more emphasis on rarer cards than I do parallels. And, of course, I collect on a relative budget, too. I’d rather overpay for a rarer card like this than a Bazooka parallel where there are plenty more copies to be found … someday.

Swish has a pair of cards in the 2007 Allen & Ginter set — got those, of course — but the standard mini’s printing plates have eluded me. I have zero of the four 1/1s there. However, the Swisher “EXT” card — an “extended” mini found only in Rip Cards — has plates, too, and I own two of the four.

I didn’t scan the backs of my plates — so I don’t know which plate is which. But I think I own the Cyan and Magenta plates because his name is not visible here (would be seen on the Black) and neither card appears light like a Yellow plate might read.

Do you have any other Ginter Swisher plates? They’re very high on my list of wants — and one in particular is one reason why SwishFan.com exists. I’m on the hunt — and I’ll write about that in the future.

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

You can see both of my plates after the jump.

Continue reading Well, I’m halfway there on the Nick Swisher 2007 Allen & Ginter “EXT” printing plate rainbow …

Nick Swisher’s only full Logoman card (that I know of) so far …

I’m not the first owner of this Nick Swisher card, but I intend to be the last one.

It’s his only game-used memorabilia card that includes a full Logoman MLB logo from the back of his jersey, and it’s from the 2006 Ultimate Collection set. It hit the auction block a few years ago with a pricetag and timing that translated into one thing for me owning it: “No way.”

But It eventually found its way to me when the collector decided to part with most of the Swishes in his stash, selling at a loss, and now it’s mine. It’s not without some minor flaws — a sticker auto with the ink running off and the crooked authentication sticker — but it’s my priciest Swish.

It’s a 1/1 card that also has a Logoman and autograph of Rich Harden, another former A’s player, on the back.

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

There are plenty of Nick Swisher game-used baseball bat cards, but there are just two bat knob cards in existence …

Topps has produced more than a few Nick Swisher game-used baseball bat cards since the first one arrived in 2004 Bowman Draft, but Swish has just two bat knob cards made by any card company.

Each is a 1/1 autographed knob card found in 2009 Topps Unique, a one-shot product that had some high-end thrills found inside its packs.

The two knob cards in Unique have different card numbers — and I am not sure whether one that I lost on eBay is the other card or whether I won this one during its second time on the block. Neither card had much distinguishing features on the knob, unlike most Swisher gamers, which typically have had “BLS” (Swisher’s grandmother’s initials) or some other message on them.

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

Nick Swisher’s first MLB (& Chrome) cards: 2002 Bowman Draft

Nick Swisher’s first MLB cards arrived in the 2002 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects product and the best card to land in that one is his Gold Refractor.

Limited to just 50 serial-numbered copies, this unsigned Rookie Card may not seem so special these days — where all of the rare versions come with actual autographs — but it’s the best one. Unfortunately, I own only 1/25th of the entire press run … I need more!

The “Chrome Rainbow” in 2002 included a standard Chrome, Refractor, X-Fractor and the Gold Refractor. Thankfully, this is one I have completed — not sure if I can say that for any other years with all the SuperFractors and printing plates to be chased. (The standard Bowman card lineup will be posted separately later on.)

You can see each version after the jump.

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

Continue reading Nick Swisher’s first MLB (& Chrome) cards: 2002 Bowman Draft