Over the past few years we have talked about what advantages Topps has in creating baseball products. The major, and obvious one, is they are the only licensed company to produce both major and minor league cards. Having that license enables them to print cards of both the players we hear about on a nightly basis during the season as well as those players who are better known to a smaller group of fans who follow the minor leagues.
For nearly two decades now, Topps has used what used to be their advantage in being able to print cards of anyone in a baseball uniform through a grandfathered clause to today’s agreement. During those years many of their prospects have achieved success in the majors and for many of these players the Bowman Chrome card or a parallel autograph is the best card produced during their rookie year. Who can forget the statement by Leaf Trading Cards’ Brian Gray when he claimed that Stephen Strasburg Bowman Chrome Superfractor (1 of 1)was the most important card in the past 20 years or the recent sale to South Bay Sports Cards of the Yasiel Puig Superfractor (1 of 1) which was then hyped as being a $25,000 card. That shows that Bowman Chrome may now be as important to the hobby as the base Topps set each year.
Needless to say, this means that collectors always have a lot to look forward to when Topps releases Bowman Chrome each year. This year, Bowman and Topps Chrome were released in a very short time frame which caused dealers some concern for a while.
The base card design of 2013 Bowman Chrome is very similar to the design over the past few years and the boxes have 18 packs with four cards per pack. Each box guarantees one autograph but now there is a note that every third box contains a second autograph card. When I stopped in Nick’s Baseball Cards he said he had sold 2-3 cases at the $64.95 box level while leading on-line retailers are currently at $50-55 per box. So let us see how we did from our box. Please note, as traditional for our Bowman Chrome box reviews. there were no duplicates.
Base Cards: 28 of 220 or less than 15 percent of the base set
Base Prospect Cards; 34 of 110. Just a tad more than 30 percent of the base prospect set
Base Card Refractors: Dylan Bundy, Anthony Rizzo, Carlos Santana
Prospect Refractor: Dan Langfield
Base Blue Refractor (#d to 250): Jose Altuve
Prospect Magenta Refractor (#d to 35): Jeremy Rathjen
Rookie Reprints Blue Sapphire Refractor: Ernie Banks
Refractor Autograph: Jake Lamb
Well, we did not pull anything major out of this box but at the current on-line box level at $50 this is certainly worth a shot, especially if you are fortunate enough to pull the second autograph from the box.
A checklist for the product is linked below.
Click here to see what’s been listed on eBay.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]