Call it coming out of semi-retirement. 2019 Bowman Sterling baseball will mark the return of a familiar Topps brand as a singular product. In February, Topps announced at its industry conference that Sterling would be replacing Bowman High Tek on its release calendar, and according to preview material from the company, it’s coming back with plenty of autographs of up-and-coming players and a new configuration.
Collectors may have remembered Sterling being used in inserts for several Bowman products over the past few years, but now collectors will once again be able to buy full boxes of Sterling-branded cards on Aug. 14. Not surprisingly, it’s all about the prospects and rookies.
2019 Bowman Sterling Basics
There are five packs in every hobby box of 2019 Bowman Sterling, and six cards per pack. One of those cards will be an autograph card. The base set will contain 50 prospects and 50 rookies.
Bowman Sterling’s chromium stock means the set will have plenty of refractors and parallels for collectors to chase. The basic refractors are numbered to 199, while Speckle refractors will be numbered to 99. Other refractors include Gold (numbered to 50), Blue (25), Black Atomic (10), Red (5) and SuperFractor (1/1). There also will be 1/1 Printing Plate cards.
While the base set features prospects and insert cards, the Sterling Retrospect inserts will include veterans, adopting an older look by creating them in the 2004 Bowman Sterling base card design. Base inserts will be numbered to 99, but there are refractor parallels, too: Gold (numbered to 50), Blue (25), Black Atomic (10), Red (5) and SuperFractor (1/1). Mirroring the base parallels, the insert set also will have 1/1 Printing Plate cards.
As promised, Sterling will be loaded with autographs and signed parallel cards. Prospect and rookie signature cards will have nine levels of refractor parallels. The base refractor is numbered to 150; others include Wave (numbered to 125), Speckle (99), Orange (75), Gold (50), Blue (25) Black Atomic (10), Red (5) and a 1/1 SuperFractor.
Sterling Die-Cut autographs are case hits and features prospects and rookies in the refractor-driven die-cut image. Parallels include Blue Refractors (numbered to 25), Red Refractor (5) and SuperFractor (1/1).
Sterling also will offer Dual and Triple Refractor autographs, which will feature two or three signatures of draft pick-prospect or prospect-rookie combinations. Those cards will be numbered to 25. The Duals and Triples also will have low-numbered parallels: Black Atomic Refractors numbered to 10, Canary Diamond Refractors numbered to 3, Red Refractors (1/1) and SuperFractors (1/1).
Finally, Sterling Retrospective Autographs will include major league stars and will be numbered to 50 or less. Parallels will include Blue Refractors, numbered to 25; Black Atomic Refractors (10), Red Refractors (5) and SuperFractors (1/1).
You can see boxes for sale on eBay here.