2011 Bowman Sterling Football Review

by Rich Klein

The “Sterling” name is a brand Topps uses to show their “high-dollar” products. Sterling is usually used in conjunction with Bowman and implies a very heavy emphasis on rookies and/or prospects. The 2011 Bowman Sterling football program fits right in with that theme. Each Sterling “mini-box” comes as part of a “master” box contains six mini-boxes. Each mini-box is supposed to have two relic and one autograph card as well as two Bowman Sterling Rookie Cards.

The prices for these mini-boxes are currently at $40-45 from on-line retailers and my local card shop (Triple Cards in Plano, TX) reported moderate sales at the $50 per mini-box level.

The player’s photo is set against a silver type of background so we see the emphasis on the player photo, The card bottom has the Bowman Sterling logo, as well the player’s position and name. The back has biographical information, a brief informational blurb and college statistics.

How did we do from our box of five cards?  Well, it didn’t take long to open…

Base Cards:  Marvin Austin, Patrick Peterson

Relic Cards: Kendall Hunter, Christian Ponder

Autograph: Greg McElroy

Our box didn’t yield anything spectacular, but a full box of six would likely yield some decent bang for your buck:

– 12 Rookie Cards
– 4 Autograph Cards
– 2 Autograph Relic Cards
– 12 Relic Cards
– 1 Dual Relic Box Topper

“That’s 19 hits in a box that costs $260,” wrote one collector on a hobby message board.  “That’s $13.68 per hit. Most hits are single color jersey’s that don’t have a lot of value. But still, that’s a lot of content. And with this years RC class doing so well, a lot of the base RC’s might actually have some value. And low #’d parallels even more so.”

While no one really knows what the future holds for any of the players pulled from these boxes, at the lowest current selling levels, there is very little downside risk as the three “hits” plus other rookie players tend to indicate a fair chance that a collector will get his/her money’s worth out of a mini-box but better to save your cash and go “all in” on a full box if you like the product.

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]