2014 Bowman MLB hit my store on Thursday (one day late) and it was a special type of hot. I’m talking something cooled with a ghost pepper, Sportscenter En Fuego, anything right out of the fryer and a Texas Rangers day game at home in July hot.
On Wednesday (the actual day of release), we had over 15 calls on our boxes and collectors staking out claim on the shop’s stools for a couple of hours as we counted down the time until the delivery truck arrived. It is a rare release that makes collectors want to camp out like Springsteen tickets are going on sale, but 2014 Bowman made it happen. Of course the delivery truck crawled across the parking lot about as quickly as ketchup slides out of a 7% filled Heinz bottle only to drive right past my store.
Side note – The last time we got 15 calls in one day on a product, the President was Bill Clinton, Patrick Roy was a player and not a coach and girls were still icky (well, not so much the last part).
Of course having the Mark Appel Superfractor listed by someone on eBay Tuesday night (cough, cough one day before it was due to arrive in shops) for $9,999.99 did not hurt things in the least. It sold, too. For exactly how much, we don't know but safe to say someone is very confident in Appel's ability.
So this morning when Fed Ex parked in front of my store 45 minutes early, you know I wasn’t going to let them drive away without leaving my 6 cases of cards. Since my product email was ready to go on Wednesday, I could not wait to slick send and call some of my special collectors that had requested a heads up. What followed next more closely resembled an episode from Shark Week than anything else.
By the time I closed the shop tonight, both garbage cans were filled with wrappers and empty boxes and I had four empty cases that needed to be disposed of. Fortunately most of my collectors held their breaths for one day and took advantage of my first day pricing of $72 on regular boxes and $149 on jumbos. Sure I will probably regret it when it comes to restocking, but who am I to complain?
Of course after today, I wish I had maxed out and I after checking and it looks like that I ordered my 2014 Bowman MLB on 10/15/13. To say that the card market at that point was weak would be akin to saying that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were bad in 1976.
NFL cards were being as well received as The Lone Ranger was at the box office. Only GMs could tell you anything about the rookies from the most recent NBA draft. All of the NHL sets only offered the 12/13 rookies and none of the 13/14 guys that people were getting revved up about. The most recent MLB offerings were doing their typical October plunge. It was bad.
Let’s just say if you were a shop and you committed strongly to 2014 MLB offerings before Jose Abreu was making us forget about Albert Pujols and most people thought that Masahiro Tanaka might just possibly have some future in the majors, while you were struggling to keep your doors open then you are a far braver soul than most shop owners.
The big hit of the day was a Mark Appel Black Wave refractor that was numbered out of 50 made. Jamie literally danced like Bruce Willis in the end of The Last Boy Scout (mega props to the 3 of you who got that reference).
Sadly, already listed on eBay are some of the other dream cards from this set including:
I really should not be surprised as a few other shop owners reported the same type of action in their own stores and I’m sure that the breakers were going through cases like Prince Fielder attacking a salad bar. Plain and simple, if I could exchange all the boxes in my store into one release, for at least one week, I would gladly get in that line.
As one of my collectors put it yesterday as he waited patiently and again today as he finally got his 2014 Bowman boxes, “today is my Christmas present.” On behalf of shop owners everywhere, we could not agree more.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. You can read his column here every week (or close to it), focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. See his eBay listings here. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter. Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook and you can email him at [email protected]