From 1951-55, Topps and Bowman engaged in a heated rivalry for control of the burgeoning sports card market that saw the development of some of the era's most popular sets. As the sports card collecting market blossomed in the 1980s, Topps re-launched the still familiar Bowman brand in 1989. Over the years that followed, Bowman evolved to become what Topps calls 'prospector's paradise' that has featured some of the most popular (and valuable) cards of the modern era.
Topps has announced that autographed cards of White Sox sensation Jose Abreu would be part of the random insert mix when Bowman boxes hit store shelves later this week.
The Cuban slugger has already set an April rookie record with 10 home runs and 31 RBI. Abreu's signed cards are in the Autographed Bowman Chrome Prospects set.
(Update: Topps also announced April 30 that collectors might notice a new addition to the product – exclusive Blue Wave, Black Wave and Orange Wave refractor hot packs. Select hobby/jumbo packs will contain five Bowman Chrome Prospect Cards with either all Blue Wave Refractors or Black Wave Refractors. Random retail packs will include five Orange Wave Refractors of Bowman Chrome Prospect Cards. Autographed Wave parallels will be randomly inserted).
“It is the 25th anniversary of the 1989 re-launch of the Bowman brand, and we are going to highlight this milestone with a 1989 Silver Diamond Refractor in all 2014 Bowman releases,” Topps stated.
“We are also excited to bring back the Bowman’s Top 100 Prospects & Chrome Refractor Mini cards. Finally, Bowman would not be complete without the Prospect & Rookie Chrome autograph cards, and all of their colorful parallels.”
1989 "Bowman is Back" Silver Diamond Refractors will be found in retail, hobby, and jumbo packs, but the Black refractor autograph (#'d to 25) will only be found in hobby and jumbo. Available exclusively in hobby will be 1989 Bowman buyback (#'d to 5) autographs featuring some of the inaugural issue's stars. Cards the size of the original 1989 issue will be numbered to 20 and randomly inserted as box toppers. The oversized box toppers in the 1989 style will also include Silver Ice (#'d to 99), Red Ice (#'d to 10), White Ice (1/1), and Purple Autographed Ice (#'d to 25) parallels.
For 2014 Topps will be introducing a Green refractor (#'d to 75) in their Bowman Chrome Prospects line, joining the returning base refractor (#'d to 500), Blue refractor (#'d to 250), Black refractor (#'d to 99), Gold refractor (#'d to 50), and Orange refractor (#'d to 25) parallels; Red refractor (#'d to 5) and Superfractor (1/1) parallels will be hobby exclusives, while printing plates (1/1) will only be found in jumbo packs.
Autographed Bowman Chrome Prospects will be produced in two additional refractor parallels in 2014: Black (#'d to 99) and Green (#'d to 75); base refractor (#'d to 500), Blue refractors (#'d to 150), Gold refractors (#'d to 50), Orange refractors (#'d to 25), Red refractors (#'d to 5), and Superfractor (1/1) parallels will be inserted into hobby packs, while Purple refractors (#'d to 10) and printing plates (1/1) will be found only in jumbo.
Bowman Chrome Autographed Rookie Cards will also be hobby exclusives and also feature a new Black refractor (#'d to 35) parallel, which joins the returning lineup of base refractors (#'d to 500), Blue refractors (#'d to 250), Gold refractors (#'d to 50), Orange refractors (#'d to 25), Red refractors (#'d to 5), and Superfractor (1/1) parallels; Green refractors (#'d to 25) and printing plates (1/1) are planned to be jumbo exclusives.
Silver Ice Parallels of both base and prospect cards will be found at the rate of one per hobby box and two per jumbo box. 2014 Bowman will feature autographed parallels for the first time with Red Ice (#'d to 25) and Purple Ice (#'d to 10) parallels that will be hobby exclusives. Non-autographed Ice parallels (also a hobby exclusive) will be found in Red Ice (#'d to 25), Purple Ice (#'d to 10), and White Ice (1/1).
In addition to 1989 Bowman is Back inserts and autographs, 2014 Bowman Baseball will contain buybacks of 1989 Bowman Baseball cards, hand-signed by the players shown on the front.
- Mark Appel
- Kris Bryant
- Xander Bogaerts
- Cal Ripken Jr.
- Ken Griffey Jr.
Two inserts returning this year include the Lucky Redemption Program that will feature one of five to be determined players that will be announced after the product's release, which is designed to capitalize on the early (and unpredictable) hot rookies at the start of the season. All-American game autographs return again as a hobby exclusive featuring a checklist boasting the best high school talent with 25 Ultimate Prospect Autograph Book Cards (#'d to 5).
New to 2014 Bowman will be Blue and Black Wave Refractor hot packs, which will only be found in hobby. The Blue Wave packs will also include Red Wave Chrome Refractors (#'d to 25) and Blue Wave Chrome Refractor Prospect Autographs (#'d to 50), while the Black Wave packs will feature Silver Wave Chrome Refractor Prospect Autographs (#'d to 25) and Black Wave Chrome Refractor Prospect Autographs (#'d to 50).
Bowman's Top 100 Prospects return in 2014 and will be found in retail, hobby, and jumbo packs. Die-cut refractor (#'d to 99) and autographed Die-cut X-fractor (#'d to 24) parallels will also be produced and inserted throughout all packs; however, the autographed Die-cut Atomic Refractor (1/1) will only be found in hobby packs.
Chrome Refractor Mini Cards will be returning as well featuring the top five prospects of every MLB franchise as selected by the Bowman scouts, but with some major additions - including autographed cards. All packs offer a chance at Blue refractor (#'d to 250) and Orange refractor (#'d to 50) parallels, but the new Gold refractor (#'d to 25), Red refractor (#'d to 5), and Superfractor (1/1) parallels will be limited to hobby and jumbo; the new Black refractor (#'d to 15) parallel will be a hobby exclusive, while the new Green refractor (#'d to 10) will only be found in jumbo. For the new autographed mini refractor the Superfractor (1/1) will be found in hobby and jumbo, but the Gold refractor (#'d to 25) parallel will be limited to hobby and the Red refractor (#'d to 5) parallel will be in jumbo packs only.
Rounding out 2014 Bowman's insert set are Social Media-graphs (#'d to 10) featuring a prospect's signature and twitter handle inscription; hobby-exclusive The Bowman Black Collection (#'d to 25) and new Violet (#'d to 10) parallel; Dual Franchise Refractor Autographs (#'d to 25) containing two prospect autographs with new hobby-exclusive Red (#'d go 5) and Superfractor (1/1) parallels; and All-Star Futures Game Relics (#'d to 25) containing swatches taken from the 2013 event.
Wilson, a Rule 5 draft pick by the Texas Rangers in December, is no stranger to Topps trading cards , but collectors will have a chance to find his Texas Rangers short-printed prospect card in 2014 Bowman. Wilson, who was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies, can also be found in the 2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects checklist.
2014 Bowman Baseball will include 220 veterans and rookies, and 110 prospects. The checklist is below. Click here to see singles, boxes, sets and cases on eBay.