After Topps won the 1950's card war, the Bowman name lay dormant for more than 30 years until Topps resurrected the name with a successful 1989 release based on the large-sized 1953-55 cards. That set helped to explode sales of eight-pocket sheets as collectors loved the great photos and the wide range of rookies and prospects. Some of the rookies turned out to have great careers such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Gary Sheffield while others such as Austin Manahan and Johnny Ard never even graced the major leagues. Could you imagine if we had the hobby message boards in 1989 and people would be bragging about the Johnny Ard cards they had? Not every hot prospect pans out.
That one set helped to get the Bowman brand back into the hobby spotlight but when the 1992 Bowman set came out with UV coating, it really got the hobby interested and Bowman began a run of popularity which has continued to this day.
There have been attempts over the years to continuing expanding the Bowman name and in recent years one of the most popular ways is the Bowman Platinum line.
For 2014, the player photos are set against a simple plain background and most collectors appreciate the simplicity of the photos. My local card store (Triple Cards, Plano TX) has sold through 10 cases and has to restock 3 times. They are at $109.25 per box and leading on-line retailers are currently between $80-90 per box. The boxes which contain 20 packs with five cards per pack say each box contains two Chrome autographs as well as a Chrome Autograph Relic.
Base rookie and veteran cards: 23 of 100 with no duplication
Prospect cards: 51 of 100 with four duplicates. Many of these players are in the majors and I was surprised to see Roughned Odor of the Rangers, who has been with Texas almost the whole season was a prospect card and not a rookie card.
Gold Parallels (Note that only rookies and veterans have these parallel cards); Edwin Encarncion, Jason Heyward, Francisco Liriano. Shelby Miller
Ruby Parallel: Aroldis Chapman
Sapphire Parallel: Nick Castellanos, Yordano Ventura
Prospect Green Refractors (#d to 399): Dorssys Paulino, Mason Williams
Prospect Blue Refractors (#d to 199): Billy McKinney
Toolsy Die Cut: Alen Hanson
Cutting Edge Stars: Derek Jeter, David Ortiz
89 Bowman is Back: Hyun-Jin Ryu
Autograph Relic Refractor: Joc Pederson (redemption)
Joc Pederson is considered an uber prospect and if he delivers the way he is projected to in Los Angeles, then this card will end up carrying our box and we would have done very well indeed.
As for the autographs, Gilmartin is a little old now to be considered a huge prospect but Ynoa is a young pitcher with a great upside who earned a promotion this summer but his autographed cards haven't shown a lot of muscle either.
Platinum has gotten mixed reviews so far but does offer a decent quantity of cards for the money with a pair of autographs and some fairly solid inserts to go with a pile of prospects that could enhance the value of the box down the road.
Click here to check the eBay market for 2014 Bowman Platinum.