Every year there seems to be one product that I can never decide why I like it or why I go on a binge buying tons of it and every year it seems to be Bowman. Last year I was buying it anywhere I could find it just because I was the only person on the planet who didn't pull so much as a single base card much less anything else of Stephen Strasburg. This year, I was hell bent on pulling a Bryce Harper. Let's just say this is not the only box of Bowman Marie has opened this year.
That being said, I bet you are wondering how many Harper's I pulled since I have stopped buying it. I pulled exactly 2 regular base First Year cards, no chrome, no inserts, nothing fun. 2 base cards after many, many, many, many packs. Perhaps I will do another post of the auto's I have accumulated from this set and try and trade some of them.
So one hobby box of Bowman has been so many different prices over the last few months and currently it is selling for around $80 per hobby box. Each hobby box contains 24 packs, 10 cards per pack. Here is the break down of what was in the hobby box:
95 base cards. While the base cards are nothing fancy, they look better than last year to me. A little fresher, sleeker design but it's still basically the same cards when you put them side by side. This might be the one set that I expect to look the same every year, and it doesn't really phase me for some reason.
I scanned the rookie cards from the box as well.
Gold parallels, 1 per pack.
blue parallels /500
Base prospects, no doubles. I like this years design much better than last year on these. The one problem with them is that if you look closely at some of the signatures they look very pixelated, like the signatures were scanned with a 10 year old scanner. The Bryce Harper cards don't look like that though, they are perfect. There was not a single Harper card in the box, otherwise that would have been the one I scanned.
Base Chrome prospects, no doubles here either. It's amazing to have no pulled any doubles because in the jumbo boxes and blasters doubles are very easy to come by. Perhaps this was just a lucky hobby box in that respect. It should also be noted that some of the prospect cards are missing signatures.
blue refractor Prospect /250 I have a soft spot for all blue refractors. They are my favorite parallels in nearly every set that has them. The blue just makes the card pop regardless of the uniform. Personally I think the blue are the nicest refractors out of all the colors.
Topps of the Class
Report Card Time.
While the design is nice looking, it's just a refresh of every other year for the most part. The set has looked the exact same for years, black with white trim of some sort and a logo. Why not a lower grade? I guess because it is consistent and may be the only product that does that every year and we all have kind of come to expect it from Bowman.
At the price point of $80 plus dollars, you get one autograph guaranteed per box and nothing more. To me this should be a $50 product again, but because of Harper your wallet will suffer if you like the product. In my opinion you get much more bang for the buck out of the Jumbo boxes of Bowman. I wish there were Bowman Chrome Jumbo's. That would be sick. Anyway, there are a ton of inserts which is great if you don't like to build sets. Otherwise you could spend a good amount of money opening boxes trying to finish around 5 or so subsets.
This grade is mostly based on the fact that the chrome cards do not get all bendy once you open the pack. They lay flat without having to leave them under a pile of textbooks for 3 years. Even the Bowman's Best inserts are on the same better quality chrome cardboard. While I think there are way too many inserts in this set, the ideas behind the sets were good but should have been spread out maybe one to each upcoming release or something like that.
This is "the" product for rookie cards and prospects, whether it's the Bowman or any of the later versions of the set, this is the set prospectors want their autographs from. Topps Chrome could very well issue the same player autographs but they would be far less desirable than the Bowman Prospect autograph of the same player. Bowman delivers every year with the top prospects in baseball and this year was no different.