by Chris Harris
Topps has released a first look at 2013 Bowman Baseball, and while most of the provisional checklist is sparse and “subject to change” (only 39 of the 220 base cards and 10 of the scheduled 110 Prospects have been revealed), the underlying configuration of the product is an almost a carbon copy of the 2012 set. Almost, as there are a few new trappings to the product.
2013 Bowman will feature the same 220-card base set, 110-card Prospects “insert” set (available in both regular and Chrome flavors), one-per-pack Gold parallel, and one-per-box Autographed Chrome Prospect. Only five of the Autographed Chrome Prospects have been revealed; however the first two picks in the 2012 MLB Draft (Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton) will be represented.
As usual, the galaxy of base set parallels and Refractors will be there for the taking. The Hobby-exclusive “Ice” parallels that were introduced last year return in Silver, Red (serial-numbered to 25 copies), Purple (numbered to ten), and White (one-of-one) versions.
The most curious addition to the parallel program is a series of “Cream of the Crop” mini-sized Prospect Refractors. Curious because, although the Prospects insert on which the design of the set is based contains 110 cards, the Minis will have a total of 150 “subjects.” Whether or not this is a typo on Topps’ part, or the Minis will in fact have 40 more cards than the set it’s designed to parallel, is currently unknown.
The Bowman Black autographs, which made their debut last year return with another batch of 25 autographed prospect cards, each Hobby exclusive and numbered to 25 copies. Another addition to 2012 Bowman Baseball is a Blue Sapphire Refractor reprint set
Finally, after a one-year absence, the “Topps 100” insert is back, featuring the 100 best prospects according to Topps, which produces the Bowman line. The set will also be available as a Chrome Die-Cut Refractor (serial-numbered to 99), and as Autographed Die-Cut X-Fractors (serial-numbered to 24) and Autographed Die-Cut SuperFractors (one-of-one).
2012 Bowman Baseball is scheduled for release the week of May 1, 2013. Each Hobby box will include 24 packs with 10 cards per pack and retail for $3 pack. Jumbo boxes, exclusive to Hobby dealers, will have 12 packs of 32 cards and should cost about $10 for a pack.