When dealers and collectors first heard about the 2014 Bowman Sterling release, they were intrigued by having each pack guaranteed to have both an autograph card and a dual relic card in every pack. And with every card in the base set being a rookie, that guarantees some collector happiness if the 2014 draft class either starts with anyone good or the player develops into a star. We won’t know the true outcome of this class for a few years but the early quarterback returns are promising and there have been other nice players at the offensive skill positions.
The reasonably thick cards feature the players set against a dark background with the backs having biographical information, college seasonal and career stats as well as a brief informational blurb.
Each box contains six packs with five cards in each pack. That means even the base cards are reasonably difficult to obtain and we wonder if there won’t be a time when all these “base” cards in these expensive issues reach levels such as those for some of the more difficult late 1990’s insert cards. Some of those cards numbered to 100 or less have proven to be very elusive in today’s market and when they appear on eBay sell for sums which might be considered extravagant.
– Four Rookie Autographs
– One Rookie Autograph Relic
– One Rookie Autograph Patch
– Six Dual Relics or Dual Patches
Each box has a box topper card as well.
Autographs are on stickers, which may not sit well with some, but at least there are a lot of them.
When I stopped in Triple Cards in Plano TX to ask his opinion of Bowman Sterling Football, he said he had sold exactly one pack at the $50 level and was at about $280 for a full box. While the per pack prices seem to be holding strong from leading on-line retailers at the $40-50 level per pack, the full boxes have now slid to the $200-210 level for a box. Again movement such as this makes this difficult for card store owners to continue ordering. If you have one highly successful product and ten issues not making their margins, eventually you feel as if the only new issues you can order with confidence are war horses such as Topps Series One Baseball or Heritage and then you wait until you see what the secondary market brings.
Here’s what we pulled from the 2014 Sterling Football box Topps provided:
Base Cards: 16 of 100 meaning with perfect distribution one needs seven boxes to finish a base set.
Gold Refractor (#d to 99): Louchetz Purifoy
Purple Refractor (#d to 50): Andre Williams
Rookie Patches Blue Wave Refractor: Bishop Sankey (This was the box-topper we received)
Dual Relics: Jace Amaro, Tre Mason, Jordan Matthews, Donte Montcrief, Logan Thomas
Dual Relics Gold Refractor (d to 99): Sammy Watkins
Autographs: Jordan Lynch, Allen Robinson, Greg Robinson
Autograph Gold Refractor (#d to 99): John Brown (the quality of the sticker signatures is not getting any better, sad to say)
Autograph Relics: Kadeem Carey
Autograph Relics Green Refractor (#d to 75): Jerick McKinnon
We didn’t have a huge hit but if rookie autographs and relics are what you like—and you don’t mind signed stickers, you do get a sizable bang for your 200 bucks or so with Sterling. If you are fortunate enough to purchase a box at that level, the hit cost per box is approximately $15 and one can feel OK about that. And I will say with the quality of the cards, the autograph and relic card in every pack and the low numbered parallels, I actually felt pretty good about opening 2014 Bowman Sterling Football as there were going to be no packs with just “base” cards included, making it a fun rip indeed.
You can see boxes, singles and more on eBay here.