Saturday, January 26, 2008

1st Impressions: "Fisking" the 2008 Bowman Sell Sheet

Fisking: "A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story."

The term was coined to describe a now (in)famous December 9, 2001 blog entry by Andrew Sullivan that ripped left-wing journalist Robert Fisk a new one.

With that said, I have in my formerly nicotine stained hands (CRUNCH-CRUNCH-CRUNCH) the sell sheet for 2008 Bowman. Yes, it's not even February, and the sell sheets for '08 Bowman (with Bowman Chrome!) are already out.

Whaddaya say we have some fun with this?

UPDATE: 1/28/08
Found a sell sheet.



Configuration: 24 packs per box. 10 cards per pack.

So far, so good.

Home of the Rookie Card!

For the last few years Bowman has ceased to be "The Home of the Rookie Card." But hey, maybe Bowman's changed. Maybe they'll include a few more Rookies this year? Then again, this product is going to be released in May, so maybe not. Let's find out, anyway.

2008 Bowman Baseball now features even more must-have, Bowman Exclusive cards than ever before!

Ooh, I can hardly wait. Are they going to expand the base set to more than 220 cards? Get rid of the base set autographed cards?

NEW this year, 2008 Bowman Baseball presents Hobby Exclusive AUTOGRAPHED Bowman Chrome Prospect Cards, at an insertion rate of 1 per Hobby and HTA Box and introduces Bowman Scouts Autographed Cards, highlighting baseball scouts who have signed some of today’s most incredible MLB stars!

SURVEY SAYS......



FEATURES
- NEW Bowman Chrome Autographed Prospect Cards! 1 PER HOBBY BOX!

NEW Bowman Chrome Autographed Prospect Cards? 1 PER HOBBY BOX? Be honest, raise your hand if you didn't see this coming?

- NEW Autographed Bowman Scout Cards!

SURVEY SAYS......




Yes, you read right. Autographed cards.

Of scouts.

(How the hell can these people sleep at night?)

- 110 Topps Exclusive Bowman Chrome Prospect Cards!
- 110 Topps Exclusive Bowman Prospect Cards!
- 3 Autographed Cards Per HTA Box!
- Each pack contains 5 Bowman Baseball cards PLUS 2 Prospect cards PLUS 2 Bowman Chrome Prospect cards PLUS 1 Gold Parallel card.

Wait, wait, wait. Why are you telling us on one line that we get three autographs in an HTA box; but then give us the pack breakdown for regular wax in the next? What's the breakdown for HTA boxes?

BASE CARDS (200 subjects): 5 PER PACK!
- VETERANS: 200 top MLB pros.
- ROOKIES: 20 young players featured with the MLB® Rookie Card Logo.

Same old puny 220-card base set; unchanged from the last couple of years. If there was anything that NEEDED to change about Bowman, it was the base set.

Available In The Following Parallels:
- RED: HOBBY EXCLUSIVE! A 1 of 1 version of the base set.
- ORANGE: Numbered* to 250.
- BLUE: Numbered* to 500.
- GOLD: The player’s signature and Bowman logo are gold-foil stamped!


Does anybody really care about the non-Chrome parallels? I get the one-per-pack Gold parallels, but what's the point with the Oranges and Blues? (Yeah, I know. "Adding value." Whatever.)

AUTOGRAPHED ROOKIE CARDS: HOBBY EXCLUSIVE!

I hope for Topps sake, they didn't tell Wal-Mart that the AUTOGRAPHED ROOKIE CARDS are HOBBY EXCLUSIVE!

And what's the deal with THE ALL CAPS AND THE EXCLAMATION POINTS AT THE END OF EACH SENTENCE! IT SOUNDSSSS LIKE THISSSS GUY WROTE IT:

(VERIFYING ON ANOTHER!)

- 10 Rookies sign their base card and are numbered 221-230. 1 PER HTA BOX!

Here is the complete AUTOGRAPHED ROOKIE CARD checklist:

221 Clay Buchholz
222 Nyjer Morgan
223 Brandon Jones
224 Sam Fuld
225 Daric Barton
226 Chris Seddon
227 J.R. Towles
228 Steve Pearce
229 Ross Ohlendorf
230 Clint Sammons

Basically, it's that guy who pitched a no-hitter for the Red Sox last September, and nine others.

Oh, and wasn't Daric Barton's RC in 2003 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects? (That would be a "yes.")

Available In The Following Parallels:
- RED: 1 OF 1!
- ORANGE: Numbered* to 250.
- BLUE: Numbered* to 500.


Blah, blah, blah...

Moving on to...

PROSPECT CARDS (110 subjects): 4 PER PACK!

BOWMAN PROSPECTS (2 per pack! HTA 8 per pack):
- Non-Major League Prospects appear in their MLB uniforms along with a “First Bowman Card” logo. Numbered BP1–BP110. 2 PER PACK!

Available In The Following Parallels:
- RED: HOBBY EXCLUSIVE! A 1.....


Same concept as the base cards. You get the idea.

NEW! AUTOGRAPHED BOWMAN CHROME PROSPECTS: 1 PER HOBBY & HTA BOX!
- HOBBY EXCLUSIVE!
- 25 prospects appear with their signatures on Chrome technology and will be numbered BCP111-BCP135!

Translation: All those Autographed Prospect Cards that were numbered as part of the regular Prospects set, have been moved into the Bowman Chrome set.

And who you ask are these guys?

BCP111 David Price
BCP112 Michael Moustakas


Autographed non-rookie cards of players whose First Bowman Card was in last year's BDP&P.

SURVEY SAYS......



Here's the rest of the checklist.

BCP113 Matt LaPorta
BCP114 Wendell Fairley
BCP115 Josh Vitters
BCP116 Johnathan Bachanov
BCP117 Edward Kunz
BCP118 Matt Dominguez
BCP119 Kyle Lotzkar
BCP120 Madison Bumgarner
BCP121 Jason Heyward
BCP122 Julio Borbon
BCP123 Josh Smoker
BCP124 Jarrod Parker
BCP125 Kevin Ahrens
BCP126 J.P. Arencibia
BCP127 Johs Bell
BCP128 Scott Cousins
BCP129 Brandon Hynick
BCP130 Alan Johnson
BCP131 Josh Kreuzer
BCP132 Ryan Zink
BCP133 Matt Harrison
BCP134 Justin Masterson
BCP135 Fautino de los Santos




Alright, that's enough, you get the gist of 2008 Bowman: Very few actual rookies and a shitload of gimmicks.

And that's the problem. Topps' once vaunted Bowman brand -- the self-proclaimed "Home of the Rookie Card" -- has lost it's identity. Granted, most of it is not of their making (i.e. the MLBPA's "Rookie Card" rules), but a lot of it is self-inflicted. I think Ben Henry said it best last summer: Do collectors really want Autographed Chrome Prospects in regular ol' Bowman, (or Chrome cards? or autographs of scouts? for that matter) or is it because Topps thinks that's what they want?

Anyway, for the first time in years, I think I'll be taking a pass on 2008 Bowman. (At least until the season ends.) If anything, by the time of next year's World Series, hobby wax will be selling for half price.

ETA: 5/12/08

9 comments:

dayf said...

Before even reading your obviously well thought out and superbly written post, I'd like to predict the final verdict:

Bowman sucks.

dayf said...

Yep, you're right. It sucks.

No more ripping Bowman for me unless it's from a year beginning with 1.

sruchris said...

Here's what Bowman 2008 will look like:

Here's what Bowman 2008 will look like:

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc33/WaxHeaven/bowman2.jpg

Chris Harris said...

Give 'em credit for one thing: At least they have different, and distinct, designs for the base and Prospect inserts.

Jeff said...

Gee, those scout autos are going to look swell with my umpire autos from 2004 Bowman Heritage! I pray to Allah that every 4 years, the Topps company blesses us with a set such as this. Look for trainer autographs in 2012 Topps Chrome!!!

Jeff said...

HOLY SHIT I HAVE FOUND THE PORTAL TO HELL.

Click on the Handicapped button next to the capcha nonsense, and listen to Satan tell you to burn things. Seriously.

evan said...

Ken, WE'RE ALMOST SOLD OUT.

SHAQ PLAQUE SHAQ PLAQUE SHAQ PLAQUE SHAQ PLAQUE

Russ said...

At least there's another Jason Heyward auto I'll never own

Chuck said...

Scout autos??? That isn't the bottom of the barrel, that's underneath the friggin' barrel. Bowman is crap. I may buy 1 box but no more than that.