Card of the Day: 2008 UD Sweet Spot Prince Fielder/Ryan Braun Dual Swatch

In honor of the Brewers hot start I thought I would share one of my favorite Crew cards. I became a baseball fan back in 2007 when I was home sick from school one day and there was nothing on TV except for an afternoon game between the Astros and the Cubs at Wrigley. My dad is from Wisconsin and grew up a big Milwaukee fan so I paid attention to them too because he did. I’ve been to a game at Miller Park and a Brewers-Astros game at Minute Maid. That game was in 2008 when Fielder and Braun were tearing it up for the Crew so I sort of associate the Brewers with those two guys.

I picked this card up off of eBay for only a couple of bucks and it’s easily one of my favorites in my collection. I love the design and that the back specifically says “The memorabilia has been certified to us as having been used in an official Major League Baseball game.” I am not that impressed by some of the other statements from Topps or Panini like “this jersey was not from any specific season, game, or event” or just “guaranteed by Panini.” Anyways, the Astros aren’t going anywhere fast so here’s to the Brewers staying hot!

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Card of the Day: 2013 Bowman Inception Jonathan Singleton Auto

I’ve been meaning to post a picture of this card for awhile now. It’s a 2013 Bowman Inception Jonathan Singleton Auto that I snagged off of eBay awhile back for $2.69. I’d say that’s a pretty good deal for a sweet signature of the Astros big-name first base prospect. Speaking of which, I’m a big fan of Singleton’s auto. Some might say it looks like a scribble, but the “J” and the “S” are clearly discernible. Plus, if you’re going to scribble I think it’s better to go big – otherwise you end up with something like Wil Myers auto.

I’m a sucker for anything Inception. From the dark and stormy background to the silver logo, to the clean font, to the matte finish these cards are just gorgeous. I’m also a sucker for the new Astros uniforms so combined with the Inception design I’m likely to just throw my money at you.

Thanks for reading – I’ll try to post more ‘card of the day’ from now on.

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Review: 2014 Donruss

Well it’s been a long enough time since I blogged something that wasn’t a giveaway, but I promise I’ve had good reasons to be negligent. Anyways, let’s get into it! Last night to reward myself for surviving a long week I stopped by Target and picked up some packs. Guess it had been awhile since I was last there because 2014 Donruss, 2014 MLB Stickers, and 2014 Opening Day were all new to me. I picked up all 3, but am going to give Opening Day and the stickers their own reviews later on.

Review

Now, typically the card wrapper isn’t a part of card reviews, but the Donruss cards caught my eye right away – they’re shiny but have a really nice matte finish. Plus Big Papi is featured prominently on the front and I love the Donruss “d” logo.

I swear I only bought one pack, and this was waiting for me inside:

These redemptions have been selling for as high as $50 on eBay, but since it’s a Red Sox guy (a secondary PC of mine) I’ve redeemed it and will be holding onto it. I consider myself especially lucky since usually by the time I get to Target some jerks have usually thoroughly pack-searched everything. Anyways, a great hit and I’ll try not to let it bias my review of the rest of the cards.

Here’s the rest of what I got:

It should be noted that I usually stay FAR away from Panini baseball products because it’s hard for me to see past the lack of an MLB license. (What can I say? I like a good logo.) However, along with Select (and some Prizm), I’d say these are the exception to the rule – really sharp cards that, from a design standpoint, look nothing like anything that Topps pumps out. I’m actually a big fan of having the city name in the bottom left corner – it’s different and I think sometimes Topps falls in love with putting the logo on the front of every product because it can. The script is nice too, and as I said earlier I love the Donruss logo.

In terms of the photos themselves, I know because they don’t have a license that they try to select poses and positions where a logo wouldn’t normally even be visible. In some cases this works – I think the Pedro Alvarez card probably succeeds more than the others at this. However, other times this results in some awkward photos. Like this one for example – could be any white pitcher, good thing the bottom says Jordan Lyles or I wouldn’t know:

Lyles

I don’t like the Diamond Kings inserts, for example, because they chop off the tops of players heads so that you can’t see that they lack a logo. But I mean, come on Panini, we knowCollectors who are buying your baseball products have already decided that they will buy despite the licensing issue. And with the tiny part of the caps that are showing on the Diamond Kings inserts you can already see there is no logo on the hat. Just show the whole cap or find a picture where the hat is off – this weird in-between isn’t fooling anyone and leaves everyone with an awkward final product.

I’ll end on a positive note, though. The backs of the cards are really unique: they’ve got players’ whole names spelled out. Do I need to know that Aroldis Chapman is actually Albertin Aroldis De La Cruz Chapman? Probably not, but it’s a fun twist. I like the blue color, too.

In conclusion, the good out-weighs the bad in 2014 Donruss. I don’t have any kind of grading scale, but I’ll go ahead and give Donruss a 7/10 if you’re mostly interested in base cards and inserts. It’s closer to a 5/10 if you’re hoping for sweet patches and autos, too. Not too many big names to hit from what I’ve seen and most of the game-used is small, plain white jersey squares (I’d rather have a base card than a white patch honestly). If they had the MLB license I would be inclined to give this product an 8/10. The design itself is sharp and different from everything else out there right now – there are some fun twists with some of the inserts and the names on the back of cards, too. However, some of the awkward poses and cropping that results from the you-know-we-don’t-have-a-license-but-we’ll-try-and-fool-you-anyway dance that Panini does with its buyers steals away from some of the design goodness.

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Fourth Giveaway: 2013 Will Clark RC Commemorative Patch

I got word about a week ago that @JJJCubs24 received the medley of cards (that ended up including a Felix Hernandez, Doug Fister, Tim Lincecum, and Jose Bautista) from the third A Swing and a Hit Giveaway. This means it’s time for another! The prize this time is a sweet card from 2013 Topps Update Series: a Will Clark (SF Giants) Commemorative Rookie Card Patch. The card features a mini patch of Will the Thrill’s 1986 RC. Check it out:

 

The rules are as follows:

1. Follow me on Twitter @aswingandahit
2. Retweet the contest tweets (there will be one daily so you can earn an additional entry each day)

The contest will end once I reach 350 Followers. I will use random.org, randomize the list 10 times, and the name in the #1 slot will win. Good luck to everyone!

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Trade Bait: Jays, Rays, A’s, and….Rangers

Hey everyone, I’ve got some cards I’m looking to trade (or sell if you don’t have anything to trade) for some Astros, Packers, or Spurs cards. Let me know what you’re interested in either by commenting, sending me a tweet/DM @aswingandahit, or emailing me at aswingandahit@gmail.com.

RangersBait

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Third Giveaway: Felix Hernandez and Doug Fister

Congratulations to @REALCHRISNESS for winning the Darvish relic! I have word that he received it which means…time for another giveaway! (I also completed a sweet trade with Chris via Twitter – I highly recommend trading with him!)

This time the prize is actually two cards: a 2013 Panini Prizm Team MVP Felix Hernandez card and a 2011 Topps Doug Fister Diamond Anniversary Sparkle Variation

The rules are as follows:

1. Follow me on Twitter @aswingandahit
2. Retweet the contest tweets (there will be one daily so you can earn an additional entry each day)

The contest will end once I reach 200 Followers. I will use random.org, randomize the list 10 times, and the name in the #1 slot will win. Good luck to everyone!

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Second Giveaway: 2013 Topps Yu Darvish Relic

Today I heard from the previous contest winner that he received the Tommy Milone auto relic card. That means it’s time for a new A Swing and A Hit Giveaway!

This time around the card up for grabs is a 2013 Topps Series 1 Chasing the Dream Relic of Yu Darvish! The rules for being eligible to win are simple:

1. Follow me on Twitter @aswingandahit
2. Re-tweet my contest tweet once it goes up

You can re-tweet once per day for additional entries. On Saturday, February 22nd at 7pm CST the giveaway will close and a winner will be selected by entering Twitter names into a random.org list and randomizing 10 times. The name in the first spot on the 10th time will get the card. Good luck and happy re-tweeting!

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