Bowman is one of those in between sets for me. Do I buy packs? A box and build the set? Pull my favorites out and part ways with the rest of them?
I’m not a prospector, but I love to pull some of the great rookies that I read about.
I don’t put together too many sets, but I love to buy packs and sometimes a box of cards that I enjoy openings packs of.
I like inserts, but too many of them become overwhelming.
Bowman has a way of providing a response to each of these contradictions in my collecting habits. When Topps brought back the Bowman cards in 1989, my friend Alex and I were all in. The cards were weird and big and didn’t fit well anywhere, but they were cool and had a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card. Griff was the man in 1989 and his rookie cards were something every kid in America that collected cards wanted. I had them all, and loved the oversized Bowman version (after the Upper Deck version of course…) Although the cards weren’t that great. The photography was a little grainy at times and the overall design was weak…plus the stat on the back were quite confusing and took some getting used to. Either way I was going to collect this set…and all other versions that would come out in the future. That was, until 1992 rolled around. The card quality became significantly better and the rookie class was pretty stellar at the time (I still have my Raul Mondesi in a screw down holder, iknowright!). 1992 was also the time I began to realize I can’t collect everything…because I couldn’t afford it. So I never completed the set and ended up getting rid of my other sets from the previous years.
Fast forward to the future that is today. The card quality has improved exponentially and in relation to the other stuff that’s being issued, Bowman is quite affordable. I’ve purchased a box of these the past three years and took a bigger step this year and bought the jumbo pack box from Dave and Adam’s card world. Here is my review.
Card Design – 3 of 5
The overall design of the cards is quite simple, which I love.
No extra weird things going on here, just some simple graphics and all the basic information you need on a baseball card. I do like the subtle variation on the front of the card that differentiates the Bowman Prospects from the Major Leaguers. Bowman also carried this through as they do on the back of the card with the numbering and color of the card stock.
Photography – 3 of 5
The photographs are your typical action photos mixed in with awkwardly posed for photos of young men in uniforms. There are a lot of beards and facial hair in general around the world these days and the major league baseball franchise is no different. I’m thinking Panini needs to do a facial hair card set. Maybe Josh Reddick get the coveted #1 card?
Hits – 4 of 5
Like I said before, I’m no prospector. I simply don’t have the patience or wherewithal to invest in people I don’t know and Bowman counts on people doing this. That’s what makes this set so wonderful though. If you do pull a great auto of a young talented player or a refractor you have a nice piece of cardboard. If you don’t, well, you have something shiny to look at i guess. Another thing with the hits is that you have to wait a couple of years for these guys to pan out and get a year or two under their belts. Just because you are a top 100 prospect doesn’t mean you are going to be a star in the bigs. All that said, It’s nice to get the ‘First Bowman card’ of a potential star.
Another thing that i really enjoy about the Bowman cards and the young stars is the names of these kids. Damn.
Bowman is always fun to open and the cards are always a very solid quality. I’m not sure if I will buy a jumbo box next year unless i plan to start building the sets again…but getting 32 cards in a pack is pretty cool.
The overall look and feel of the cards is great, nothing to complain about here, plus the price is right with Bowman, especially for what you get.
Mini’s are cool.
So are Flags…
and blue or maybe purple cards?