by Chris Harris
Bowman Platinum is a brand that seems like it has been around for a lot longer than it has. However, it only debuted in 2010 (January 2011 to be precise) and the upcoming 2013 edition will be only the fourth year for this brand. Propped up by the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, and Yu Darvish the first three editions sold relatively well. However, with a less than stellar rookie and prospect class on tap, 2013 may be a make-or-break year for the brand’s long-run viability.
2013 Bowman Platinum Baseball will follow the same structure as in previous years, with 100 base cards supplemented by a 100-card “Prospects” set. The base cards will be available in three different levels of parallels (Gold, Blue Sapphire, and Ruby) and the Prospects in a variety of serial-numbered Chrome Refractor parallels.
Each 20-pack Hobby box will yield two Autographed Prospect Chrome Refractors and an Autographed Relic Chrome Refractor, which may or may not be of a Prospect. Each autograph will come in the usual throng of low-numbered multi-colored Refractor parallels, with patch material replacing the jersey/bat swatch on the scarcer Autographed Relic Refractors.
A number of two, three, and six-player autographs return, all printed on Refractor stock, all low-numbered, and all inserted at the case hit level and higher. Also returning for a second year are redemption cards good for intact game-used Arizona Fall League items, including autographed and game-used balls, game jerseys, game-used bases, and the like. In addition, one lucky collector will win a trip to the 2013 Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars Game.
Rounding out 2013 Bowman Platinum are a fourth batch of this year’s Bowman Black autographs, and a series one-of-one Purely Platinum autographs. Collectors should also be on the lookout for another 10 Blue Sapphire Refractor reprints – a series that will start in this year’s Bowman Baseball -- and two die-cut inserts: “Cutting Edge Stars” and “Diamonds in the Rough.” The latter produced in conjunction with the editors of Baseball America.
2013 Bowman Platinum Baseball is scheduled for release the week of July 31. Each Hobby box will contain 20 packs of five cards and should sell in the $5/pack range. Cases will come with two 6-box shipping cartons.