There is little doubt that 2013 was a rough year for football card issues. Most of the releases, especially those based on the arguably weakest rookie crop in 20 years, faded quickly into obscurity as we were treated to a seemingly never-ending parade of mediocre rookies as the featured subjects. There were exceptions. Eddie Lacy comes to mind quickly but overall, it was no picnic for sports card dealers. Recently, while I was taping a Beckett Radio segment, one of the co-hosts mentioned that one of his autograph hits, who signed at the 2013 rookie premiere event, had not even made their team. No, I don't remember the player’s name but that was an extreme indication of how bad 2013 was.
Amazingly though, one of the shining lights of 2013 came at the beginning of the football card season. 2013 Bowman Football was a major success because of the number of autographs in each box for a reasonable price point. Many times, when one has a major surprise card hit or failure, the next year the exact opposite result occurs. Based at the very least upon my conversation with the owner of my local card store (Triple Cards, Plano TX), 2014 Bowman Football has been just as good as last year’s model.
The base cards feature white borders surrounding the player's photo. The Bowman logo is in the upper left corner while the team logo, name and position are at the bottom. The card back has biographical information ,a comparison to a veteran (for the rookies) or a retired player (for the vets), and seasonal and career stats.
The owner of Triple Cards said he sold his 60 box allotment at about $119 in a normal pattern and was very happy with his customers’ reactions. The boxes consist of 10 packs with 25 cards per pack and each box mentions there are four autograph cards as well as one relic card inside. That is five hits not counting the rest of the inserts and parallels at a nice price per card. However, out of those 60 boxes, the owner only saw or heard of only one Johnny Manziel autograph card pulled from the packs.
Leading online hobby retailers are currently between $95-125 per.
Base Cards: The set is broken down into 100 veterans and 110 rookies so the numbering can be confusing to a more novice collector. We pulled 150 of 220 or just about two-thirds of the set.
Black Parallel: 55 of 220
Rainbow Silver Ice: James Wilder Jr.
Rainbow Orange Ice (#d to 50): DeMarco Murray
Blue: (#d to 499): Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Jason Verrett
Orange (#d to 299): Donte Montcrief
Gold (#d to 75): Tyrann Mathieu
Rainbow Black Parallels (To me these are Chrome cards as they are rather Chrome like): Morgan Breslin, Marlon Brown, Isaiah Crowell, Victor Cruz, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jimmy Graham, Chris Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Aaron Murray, Ray Rice,Steven Ridley, Austin Seferian-Johnson, Kenny Stills, Devin Street, Mike Wallace
Rainbow Gold (#d to 399); Dominique Easley
Rainbow Orange (#d to 299): Jeremy Hill
1950 Bowman Mini: Jace Amaro, Dion Bradley Aaron Colvin,Taylor Hart, Jeff Mathews, Cyril Richardson, Greg Robinson, Bradley Roby, Sammy Watkins, James Wilder Jr.
Die Cuts: Andre Ellington, Ray Rice, Russell Wilson
Relic: Steven Ridley
Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs: A. J. McCarron, Aaron Murray, De'Anthony Thomas, James Wilder Jr. (who offers 'JW #32' as his 'autograph'.
That's a lot of cards and hits for the money and you can see why, even with our only Manziel card coming in the black parallels, this product was a major hit with collectors. Five plus hits in a box, lots of cards and lots of rookies make 2014 Bowman a great start to the football card season.