When I got back into the hobby in late 2005, I was in absolute awe at the number and types of sets that were being produced. As it was all new to me, I was a bit irrational in some of my purchasing decisions. I made an attempt to buy a b...
When I got back into the hobby in late 2005, I was in absolute awe at the number and types of sets that were being produced. As it was all new to me, I was a bit irrational in some of my purchasing decisions. I made an attempt to buy a box of almost everything that wasn’t super high end as soon as it came out. I quickly became a favorite of the card shop near me. I then discovered Dave & Adam and Blowout Cards and abandoned the shop for the cheaper internet, but saving money just allowed me to buy additional boxes.
When Topps took the Bowman brand out of mothballs in 1989, I have to admit, I was less than impressed. I thought the cards were ugly and the ones I decided to keep were a pain because they wouldn’t fit into any of the standard boxes or pages that I had. That was fine for pre–1957 cards, but it was simply annoying for these ugly new cards. I can’t recall when Topps decided to brand Bowman the “Home of the Rookie Card”, but it was long before I got back into the hobby. When I left the hobby, it was that first base card that was a really big deal. When I came back, it was the Bowman Chrome rookie, preferably signed.
I spent two years buying a lot of boxes of the big three Bowman products (Bowman, Bowman Chrome, and Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects). I’m a set collector by heart so I sorted each set by card number and put them in boxes. They then set there and the vast majority of those cards are sitting there now. Turns out, I don’t really like the Bowman sets. The cards themselves are attractive, but as far as design goes, they change too little from year to year. The designs aren’t distinctive enough to stretch across three different product lines.
A bigger problem for me is the checklist. If you get to see a lot of minor league games, you might love this set. Bowman is full of minor leaguers. When I open a pack, especially of Draft Picks and Prospects, I’m left scratching my head at each of the names. The vast majority are people I’ve never heard of. Of course, that’s to be expected of any set dedicated to minor league prospects. I love minor league baseball. I love it when the different Braves top prospect lists come out each year. That said, I’m not interested in collecting sets full of players I won’t remember in a few years. The thrill of an older baseball card set is leafing through the pages of a set in a binder and seeing the history of the game unfold. With Bowman, I can’t do that. Bowman just confuses me.
2013 Bowman for the Braves Collector
Topps just released their first Bowman set of 2013 and for Braves collectors, there’s not a lot here. The set itself is mostly the same as it ever was, with additional gimmicks to make up for what is widely considered a week autograph checklist. The base set comes in at 220 cards featuring major league players. Their is also a 110 card prospect list that are technically inserts, but are realistically, considered a part of the set. The prospects are available in Chrome parallels, which are also the beginning of the Bowman Chrome prospect parallel set that will be continued when 2013 Bowman Chrome is released. The base cards and prospect cards are available with the usual variety of colored borders allowing the collector to build a rainbow of their favorite player or team.
There are other notable insert sets and gimmicks. The Topps 100 prospect insert set has been continued in 2013. This set features a card for each of Bowman’s Top 100 prospects in baseball, in order. Debuting this year is 2013 Bowman Blue Sapphire Best Players of All Time. This insert set features shiny reprints of top players first Bowman card and will be continued throughout all of the Bowman products this season. Topps has produced a series of Blue Wave Refractors which can only be obtained by redeeming wrappers. Finally, Topps has created a list of the top 5 prospects