by Rich Klein
A couple of years ago, ITG released a box with the title "Baseball Hits". That issue had nothing but relic or autographed (or both) cards in the packs with no base cards. My mind transported to that when I recently opened the 2013 Bowman Inception box for review. That box had five cards, all of which were "hits" with no real base cards. There are four autographs plus an autograph relic and that’s it.
Of course, everyone opening these boxes is looking for the autograph redemptions of rookie sensation Yasiel Puig. How did baseball blow this by not making sure he was somehow part of the All-Star festivities, anyway? To me, MLB blew an opportunity for great PR and reaching out to younger fans by not making sure he had a bat in his hands. Freddie Freeman, who beat out Puig, for the final spot was hurt and couldn’t play. I select Puig, even if he cannot play and ensure he is in New York for the biggest baseball event of the season.
As a baseball card, Puig is this year's Bryce Harper as a rookie and with all the demand for his cards at this point, it seems everyone believes he is the future.
And because of Puig, Inception has sold great. My local shop owner (Triple Cards, Plano TX) was out of town when these were received at his store and his eight case order sold out quickly. He reordered two cases and those sold out as well. The first group of boxes sold out at $110 and the re-orders sold out at $140. Leading on-line retailers are currently at $125-135.
Inception is being released as a baseball product for the first time by Topps after some success on the football side. The design also comes over with sort of an ominous looking futuristic storm cloud in the background. A prospect-laden set, it’s another one of those issues that’s for the gambler more than the set builder. Keep in mind that Puig isn’t the only hot rookie that might flow out of these boxes.
Cards are printed on thick stock and a good number of the autographs are on card, but not all.
So how did we do from our box?
Rookie Autograph: Didi Gregorious
Autograph Gold (#d to 99): Clayton Blackburn
Relic Autograph: Richie Shaffer
Nothing there that's turning heads right now and flipping the contents online would be a disaster price-wise but it's early for some of these prospects and the multiple autographs could mean 2013 Bowman Inception is one of those products that could turn into a blockbuster a few years down the road. A lot cases have been ripped with over 4,300 listings on eBay right now
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]