by Rich Klein
In the years I’ve been writing these reviews. Bowman has always produced certain elements in every box I have opened. One, there has been exactly one duplicate card in just about all of the boxes I have opened. When you realize the odds of receiving all different cards in any box are in your favor, it gives you more confidence that there is a good chance of getting what was advertised. Our 2012 Bowman box break is one I’ve been looking forward to.
The hobby box is spearheaded by two players who have actually debuted in the majors during the 2102 season: Yoenis Cespedes from the A’s and Yu Darvish from the Rangers. Both new international players are off to decent starts and were signed to large contracts before the 2012 season began. And, of course, the hunt for Bryce Harper’s prospect autograph cards is also driving sales as he piles up the stats.
Boxes and singles have been flying out of hobby shops. In the DFW area, my local store sold out of everything he had ordered of Bowman, and was kicking himself because he should have ordered even more than the seemingly staggering amount of cases he had ordered between hobby and jumbo boxes. Within two days of the receipt of Bowman, he was completely sold out. Of course, having one of the keys as a local Texas Ranger probably also helped this product sell well here in Dallas.
Nationally, 2012 Bowman continues to do well with online retailers selling this box between $65-80 per box. Each regular hobby box consists of 24 packs with 10 cards per pack. Each pack also has two Bowman Chrome cards and each box has one autograph. This year a slight difference is that the cards have white borders surrounding the player’s photo. The team logo, player name and position are on the bottom. The horizontally oriented backs feature biographical information as well as information blurb and seasonal/career starts.
Now how did we do from our box?
Base Cards: 114
Bowman Chrome Prospects: 42
Bowman Gold Parallels: Dellin Betances, Madison Bumgarner, Melky Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Jeremy Hellickson, Liam Hendricks, Ubaldo Jiminez, Matt Kemp, Ian Kinsler, Cliff Lee, Yadier Molina, Nyjer Morgan, Mike Napoli, Salvador Perez, Bread Peacock. Addison Reed, Jose Reyes, Wilin Rosario, Pablo Sandoval, James Shields, Michael Taylor, Mark Trumbo, Adam Wainwright, Ben Zobrist
Chrome Refractor: Rafael Ortega
Prospects Silver Ice: Josh Edgin
International: Zack Greinke, Jason Heyward
Prospects International: Drew Hutchinson
Bowman’s Best: Matt Dominguez, Jesus Montero
Bowman’s Best Prospects: Jameson Taillon, Zack Wheeler
Autograph Refractor: (#d to 500): Austin Hedges
No huge hits, but a lot of potential stars.
Opening this product always reminds of a story from when I attended a Frisco Roughriders game back in 2007. Two pitchers were signing autographs before the game at the entrances. One was a reliever named Bill White, who was almost 30 and had spent his career in the minors and the other was Eric Hurley who was then the Rangers pitching prospect.
I was there as part of a group outing with Carter Blood Care and was attending the game with my friend Eddie Kelly and his two sons. (As an aside, if you are interested in photos of retired baseball and football players, check out Eddie’s company Pro Look). We first got Hurley’s autograph and when we went to meet Bill White his line was something to the effect of “I see you got someone with real talent to sign the program”. Players know who should make the majors, and who is good.
While nothing is guaranteed, the wide assortment of prospects in Bowman practically ensures you’re looking at some future big leaguers. The product’s history and reasonable price point make it no surprise that Bowman remains a staple within Topps’ product line.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]