Laundry tags aren’t so common for some players

The laundry tag card isn’t all that common for some players as there just aren’t a ton of jerseys chopped up each year for baseball cards.

Although I am sure he has a few — but not many — my only Nick Swisher tag card comes from the 2009 Ballpark Collection Laundry Tags set where a tag made the cut to make just five serial-numbered cards.

It wasn’t super-expensive but it also wasn’t single-jersey swatch cheap, either. Definitely a slightly cooler card than some, though.

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 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.