Monday, October 20, 2008

2008 Baseball Cards in Review - Bowman

This is my humble first attempt to review a year in baseball cards. I've been seriously collecting cards since 1985 so I think I know something about the hobby. For me the collecting year is about over. I'm just waiting for the Topps Update cards to hit the local Target. I acquired about 2,800 different cards this year. Counting duplicates, I've added almost 3,500 cards to my collection. I said acquire rather than purchase, because this year, really for the first time, I acquired cards by making trades. I made 10-12 trades with other baseball card bloggers.

So lets start with 2008 Bowman. This year's Bowman base set contained 220 cards which is similar to their 2007 and 2006 sets. As they have done for many years, most of the base cards are veteran players. These cards are recognized by the red border. The cards have a facsimile autograph, another feature they've had for years. The back of the card gives some biographical information and the player's last year stats. There is also a small head shot of the player on the back. The front of the card is glossy with silver foil around the player name. The back is not glossy. I like this year's design. Not their best design but much better than last years. The photographs are all action shots. Many of the photos suffer from being too dark.
Cards 201 to 220 are rookie cards with the MLB mandated Rookie Card logo. These cards are bordered in green. This is another long standing practice of Bowman. Otherwise the cards are identical to the base cards. There are also inserted at long odds 10 autographed rookie cards numbered 221-230. I only bought 2 retail boxes of the product so of course didn't see any of these.There were 4 parallel sets, Gold, Blue, Orange and Red. Golds were inserted one per pack. Blues were inserted 1 in 14 hobby and 1 in 32 retail and serial numbered to 500. Oranges were 1 in 26 hobby and 1 in 65 retail and serial numbered to 250. I didn't get any of those. Reds were a hard pull at 1 in 4,512 in hobby packs and were 1 of 1. Good luck with that. This is a Gold parallel. The gold cards were not serial numbered. In past years the Gold cards were thicker than the base set but not this year. They also have gold foil around the player name and the signature is in gold foil.

Prior to 2006, in addition to the cards bordered in red (veterans) and green (rookies) the sets featured cards bordered in blue which were prospects. In 2006, Bowman made the Prospect cards an insert set with their own numbering. The cards looked like the base set. It was very confusing. Perhaps in an attempt to make it less confusing, this year the Prospect cards have a different design. These Prospect cards have had the "1st Bowman Card" logo for a number of years.
There are also Gold, Blue, Orange and Red parallels with similar odds to the base set. I actually got 2 Blue Parallels. Maybe this guy will be a big star someday.
Here's the Gold parallel. I actually think I like the design of the Prospects card better than the base set.
In addition to the autographed base cards, there were also Signs of the Future cards. These have been a feature for years. They were inserted 1 in 36 retail. I only bought 20 packs so I got lucky. And even better, the player is a Phillie. Since 2006, this insert set has featured sticker autos rather than on-card autos. I haven't given much thought about that before but a number of bloggers don't like the sticker autos. I guess I don't like them as much as on-card autos.
There is another autograph insert called Bowman Scouts Autograph. These were inserted 1 in 410 retail and no, I didn't get one.

Bowman has a whole parallel set called Bowman Chrome. For some reason, they inserted the Bowman Chrome Prospects in the regular Bowman boxes. These also come in multiple colors and with refractor and superfractor versions. I've always liked these Chrome finished cards and all their refractor versions.

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