The Most Important Dansby Swanson Cards Heading Into His MLB Debut

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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

2016 hasn’t exactly been a good one on the field for the Atlanta Braves. If we’re honest, it’s been brutal. But the highlight of the season for many should have repercussions for years to come. That’s when the team acquired Dansby Swanson, the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, for Shelby Miller. It can be tough to part ways with a proven starter for a prospect, even when you’re highly touted. But one of the few things more dreadful than the Braves’ 2016 has be Miller’s with the Diamondbacks. To further twist the knife on Miller’s season, Swanson is already on his way to the majors. So with Atlanta speeding the future along fast, it’s time to take a closer look at what Dansby Swanson cards are out there.

Dansby Swanson Rookie Cards

If you’re looking for official Dansby Swanson rookie cards, you’re going to have to wait until 2017. With his call-up to the Braves, he becomes eligible for MLB base sets. Don’t be surprised if Swanson plays a major part of Topps’ 2017 releases, particularly early in the year when there aren’t any fresh call-ups to draw from.

Until then, there are still plenty of Dansby Swanson cards to choose from, MLB and otherwise. Below is a breakdown of some of the most important Dansby Swanson cards released before he made his debut with the Braves. With hundreds to choose from, these are the key Dansby Swanson prospect and pre-rookie cards.

Dansby Swanson Cards

USA Baseball

2014 Panini USA Baseball Dansby Swanson

Swanson is featured heavily in Panini’s 2014 box set. While the base card is the most common, it’s the premium inserts that draw more attention. This includes several autographs (plus parallels) and memorabilia cards. The Black Gold Signatures and National Team Jersey Signatures cards are among the most valuable in the product. If you’re looking for value, the Team Signatures card is signed on-card. With a more plentiful print run, it’s more affordable that a lot of the rarer Dansby Swanson autographs in the set.

2014PaniniUSASwanson

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Prospect Cards

2015 Bowman Chrome Draft Autographs Dansby Swanson #BCADS

When 2015 Bowman Draft released, Dansby Swanson was the obvious headliner. The first overall pick in that year’s draft, his first MLB autograph became the go-to card in the product. But a funny thing happened the day before the set came out — Swanson was traded to the Braves for Shelby Miller. Players have been traded before, but this was a unique situation that adds a little to the card.

As far as importance goes, the 2015 Bowman Chrome Draft Dansby Swanson autograph is his most important as a player. It’s not an official rookie card but it’s where a lot of collectors are going to look down the road. The brand is a beast when it comes to early cards, particularly when it comes to first autographs.

2015 Bowman Chrome Draft Dansby Swanson Autograph

Parallels: Refractor, Purple Refractor (/250), Green Refractor (/99), Gold Refractor (/50), Black Refractor (/35), Orange Refractor (/25), Red Refractor (/5), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1), Superfractor (1/1)

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2015 Bowman Chrome Draft Dansby Swanson #1

If autographs aren’t your thing or they’re out of your price range, the basic 2015 Bowman Chrome Draft Dansby Swanson is virtually the same minus the ink. It’s also a fraction of the cost. This is his first basic card in a MLB uniform. Of course, there are plenty of Refractors that go along with it. Swanson is also featured heavily in other parts 2015 Bowman Draft including a basic Bowman card and several inserts. However, for the low-end of the spectrum, this is the one most go for.

2015 Bowman Chrome Draft Dansby Swanson

Parallels: Refractor, Black Asia Refractor, Black Wave Asia Refractor, Sky Blue Refractor, Purple Refractor (/250), Blue Refractor (/150), Green Refractor (/99), Gold Refractor (/50), Orange Refractor (/25), Red Refractor (/5), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1), Superfractor (1/1)

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2015 Bowman’s Best Best of ’15 Autographs Dansby Swanson #B15DS

After a few years’ hiatus, Bowman’s Best made a comeback in 2015. It has a busier design that most of the other sets in the Bowman portfolio. That means that the Dansby Swanson autograph has something a little more to offer. Because it’s not Bowman Chrome, this card is significantly cheaper despite still delivering an on-card signature and full MLB marks and logos.

2015 Bowmans Best Best of 15 Autograph Dansby Swanson

Parallels: Refractor, Green Refractor (/99), Atomic Refractor (/50), Orange Refractor (/25), Red Refractor (/5), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1), Superfractor (1/1)

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2015 Elite Extra Edition Prospect Autographs Dansby Swanson #2

2015 Elite Extra Edition Dansby Swanson Autograph

Parallels: Aspirations Die Cut (/100), Status Purple Die Cut (/75), Status Blue Die Cut (/50), Red Ink (/25), Status Emerald Die Cut (/25), Green Ink (/10), Status Orange Die Cut (/10), Status Gold Die Cut (/5), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1), Status Black Die Cut (1/1)

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2015 Leaf 25th Dansby Swanson

Swanson has three different cards in 2015 Leaf 25th Baseball. The product is like a hybrid of their Memories and Trinity lines. All three cards are done with the 1990 Leaf Baseball design. What makes each distinct is what they’re printing on. There’s a Clear Acetate version (limited to 55 copies), Metal (90 copies) and Pure Glass (73 copies). All come with on-card autographs.

2015Leaf25thSwanson

Parallels:

Clear Acetate – Blue (/25), Green (/10), Red (/5), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1), Purple (1/1)
Metal – Blue (/25), Purple (/15), Green (/10), Red (/5), Gold (1/1), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1)
Pure Glass – Blue (/25), Green (/10), Red (/5), Purple (1/1)

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2015 Leaf Metal Draft Dansby Swanson Autograph #BADS1

25th isn’t the only product from Leaf with a chromium-style Dansby Swanson autograph. There’s also 2015 Leaf Metal Draft. Opting for a minimalist look, it brings out the shine of the card more versus Bowman Chrome. Like the vast majority of the shortstop’s non-MLB cards, it can be found much cheaper. And that may be of interest to those more concerned with a signature than logos and trademarks.

2015 Leaf Metal Draft Dansby Swanson Autograph

Parallels: Prismatic Blue (/50), Prismatic Purple (/25), Prismatic Green (/10), Prismatic Red (/5), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1), Prismatic Gold (1/1)

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2015 Leaf Trinity Autographs Dansby Swanson #ADS1

Like Leaf 25th, 2015 Leaf Trinity has three different styles of Dansby Swanson cards. The basic Trinity Autograph version isn’t really all that basic. It features an inscription. They can vary but most focus on his achievements and his being drafted first overall. Parallels are based on the color of the etched foil.

2015 Leaf Trinity Dansby Swanson Inscription Autograph

Parallels: Blue (/25), Red (/10), Silver Spectrum (/5), Gold Spectrum (1/1), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1)

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2015 Leaf Trinity Patch Autographs Dansby Swanson #PADS1

Next up is the Patch Autograph. The swatches come from a player-worn jersey, not a gamer. But the pieces are big and come with multiple colors and seams so they certainly look good.

2015 Leaf Trinity Patch Autographs Dansby Swanson

Parallels: Blue (/25), Red (/10), Silver Spectrum (/5), Gold Spectrum (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1)

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2015 Leaf Trinity Pure Autographs Dansby Swanson #PADS1

Swanson’s final card in 2015 Leaf Trinity is the brand’s hallmark Pure Autograph. Done on thick almost glass-like stock, there’s very little in the hobby that looks like it. Leaf switched up the design in 2015, opting for a vertical look. But that doesn’t take away from the layers and depth the technology and design offer.

2015 Leaf Trinity Pure Autographs Dansby Swanson

Parallels: Blue (/25), Green (/10), Red (/5), Purple (1/1)

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2015 Leaf Ultimate Draft Dansby Swanson Autograph #BADS1

Leaf Ultimate Draft is one of the company’s quieter designs. But that doesn’t make it low-end. Signatures are still on-card. There’s just a lot more open space. This contrast makes both the signature and the intricate foil pop more than normal.

2015 Leaf Ultimate Draft Dansby Swanson Autograph

Parallels: Silver (/25), Gold (/10), Red (/5), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1), Purple (1/1)

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2015 Panini Contenders College Ticket Autographs Dansby Swanson #1

A lot of collectors like logos on their cards. It’s understandable. It makes them look complete. But without an MLB license, Panini was presented with some challenges when they got into baseball in 2011. While still not MLB, things changed in 2015 with the addition of the NCAA license. As such, Swanson is pictured in his Vanderbilt gear for his 2015 Panini Contenders College Ticket Autograph. Not only does the card have several parallels, but there’s a variation with Swanson throwing underhand that also has parallels. In a nutshell, there’s lots to chase for completists.

2015 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph Dansby Swanson

Parallels: Blue Foil, Red Foil, Draft (/99), Cracked Ice (/23), Playoff (/15), Championship (1/1), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1)

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2016 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs Dansby Swanson #CPADAS

Under normal circumstances, players get one Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph. But when Swanson was traded to the Braves, a unique situation presented itself. Although it’s unlikely the 2016 Bowman Chrome Dansby Swanson autograph will carry as much value, it does have him in a uniform he’s going to play in. That connection is important, especially for Braves fans.

2016 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs Dansby Swanson

Parallels: Blue Refractor (/150), Green Refractor (/99), Gold Refractor (/50), Orange Refractor (/25), Orange Shimmer Refractor (/10), Red Shimmer Refractor (/10), Red Refractor (/5), Blue Twitter Refractor (/3), Printing Plate Black (1/1), Printing Plate Cyan (1/1), Printing Plate Magenta (1/1), Printing Plate Yellow (1/1), Superfractor (1/1)

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Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks.

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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