Donruss’ Elite Extra Edition product is geared toward big league baseball draft picks, but so far the buzz surrounding the product has been about the old school basketball player whose autograph has somehow shown up on the front of a young pitcher’s card.
Panini has confirmed that Magic Johnson autographs were inadvertently applied to the cards of St. Louis Cardinals prospect Jordan Swagerty.
Players under contract to sign for card companies often apply their scribble to silver hologram stickers which are then placed on cards. It’s not clear how the Johnson signatures were matched up with Swagerty’s cards.
However, Johnson even signed Arizona State Sun Devil logo patches that were applied to Swagerty cards, creating an even more bizarre collection.
Collectors who have opened boxes over the last ten days or so spotted the errors and have been discussing it on hobby message boards.
Swagerty cards carrying Magic’s autograph have been selling for $45-60 each on eBay (click here to see current listings). Some sellers didn’t seem to be aware what they were selling was actually a Johnson signature rather than the one featuring the 21-year-old Swagerty, drafted out of Arizona State in the second round earlier this year.
“It’s an extremely unfortunate – but honest – mistake and we can’t apologize enough to collectors,” says Panini’s Scott Prusha. “What we can do, however, is what we always do: Atone for our mistake and make things right for collectors.”
Panini says it will replace the error version of Jordan Swagerty’s rookie card with the correct version. In addition, Panini will be offering collectors who send in the correct card an exclusive Elite Extra Edition card of top-prospect Manny Machado.
Also, collectors will discover that two cards don’t exist – card #27 in the Commons and its autographed and non-autographed parallels, and card #11 in the Private Signings insert. Both were pulled during post-production.
If you’ve pulled a Swagerty card with a Magic autograph and want to exchange it, submit your request through Panini’s Customer Support link on the Panini homepage. Select factory damage as the category and follow the instructions.