Thursday, September 17, 2009

Box Break: 2008 Bowman Baseball

One box of 2008 Bowman Baseball (paid $73.44)
24 packs per box, 10 cards per pack

The Pulls

Base Set: 119 of 230 (51.74%)
short set: 119 of 220 (54.09%)
Autographed Rookies*: 0 of 10
48 Bowman Prospects (110 cards, two-per-pack)

24 Golds (one-per-pack)
1 Blue (1:14, numbered to 500) G. Sizemore
1 Orange (1:26, numbered to 250) D. Uggla
45 Bowman Chrome Prospects (110 cards, two-per-pack)
1 Bowman Chrome Prospects Refractor (1:34, numbered to 599) A. Liddi
1 Bowman Chrome Prospects Blue Refractor (1:126, numbered to 150) E. Beltre

Big Mojo Hits
1 Bowman Chrome Autographed Prospects X-Fractor (20 cards, 1:226*, numbered to 250) M. Bumgarner

* The odds of finding any autograph are one-per-box.

The Review

I have to be honest with you. I paid way, way, too much for this box of last year's Bowman. I'm still looking for a halfway decent cardshop in the D.C. area and I came across one on Route 7 in Sterling that had this box for $69.95 ($73.44 if you include the tax). Yes, I could have found this box for a lot less. But I needed something to bust for my BlogTV show. That, and I never got around to busting a box of this stuff last year.

As for 2008 Bowman, it's basically the same set Topps has issued for the last few years. I'm tempted to cut-and-paste my reviews of '07 and '06 Bowman, and list it here because that's all '08 is. There are no "rookies" in "The Home of the Rookie Card" anymore, and most of the Prospects are, at best, marginal.

One thing that Topps did change for 2008 (and they repeated for '09) is something they've been doing to the Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects set for years now. All the autographed Prospect cards are exclusive to Chrome. In other words, the Madison Bumgarner Autographed X-Fractor I pulled from this box is only available as an Autographed Chrome card, and not as either an unautographed Chrome, or a base Prospect.

Which is a shame since the only cards in '08 Bowman that seem to be worth a damn are the 20 Autographed Chrome Prospects. But unless you happen to get lucky like I did, if you buy a box of 2008 Bowman, you'll probably not get a card (any card) of David Price.

The Bottom Line

In addition to the aforementioned Bumgarner X-Fractor, I did pull a Blue Refractor of one of the few Chrome Prospects that is worth "something" -- a rarity for this product: Rangers farmhand Engel Beltre. Beltre had a decent 2008 season a Single-A Clinton, but struggled a bit a A+ Bakersfield.

I only got about have the base set, and less than half the Prospects. Not exactly a great deal for $70.

Product Rating: 2 Gumsticks (out of 5)

... and another thing.

For the last few years, there have been three Bowman-branded baseball products: Bowman, Bowman Chrome, and Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects. Bowman has been first (usually going live around April or May) and has the handicap of only being allowed to include "true" rookies of those players who made their Major League debut after the September 1st call-up. BowChro and BDP&P go live later in the year (September and December, respectively), thereby giving Topps the chance to issue actual, real, Rookie cards.

All of which begs the question: Do we really need three Bowman-branded card sets? Is it necessary to really have a Bowman baseball set in May? Why not fold Bowman and BowChro into one August/September release? Or, how about getting rid of Bowman and BowChro altogether and only issuing BDP&P?


SIXTYfeetSIXinches said...

I know the shop you are talking about on route 7. They are OK, but their prices really fluctuate. Although I did convince them to give a box of A & G for the same price that blowout had it for after much debate on whether blowout "case searches." If you find a shop in the DC area you are happy with, please let me know. I'm still looking...

salveste said...

Only one I've ever been to is Joe's Collector's World in Annandale. Really high prices there, but I had an interesting conversation with Joe about why he charges so much.

He says they get their boxes from multiple reputable sources in different parts of the country that supposedly do not search cases. Therefore they have a better chance of landing more than average case "hot boxes". So people shouldn't mind paying their higher prices because "if all the cards you get are crap, it doesn't matter how much you saved on the box". He also mentioned that they have had some really great hits come out of their store.

Not sure if I believe this argument for paying higher prices, but it's something to consider. I for one am happy with collecting cheap Topps base cards :)

Retrofan said...

I'm handicapped twice over. First by being a card collecter in Canada, and secondly, by the extra charge retailers have because we are in Canada. So to some it up, I have almost no variety, and when I find something it's at an inflated price. An example being A&G, which I payed roughly $115 USD for. Thank god for eBay.

MadMo said...

All Bowman has done over the past 2 years is watered down Bowman Chrome and BDPP. Instead of having the David Price/Baumgartner etc autos in the BDPP in 2007, they saved them for 2008 Bowman, while 2008 Bowman Chrome has little to offer since Topps loaded the autograph line up for 2008 Bowman. Just look at how much the 2008 Bowman Chrome boxes are going for on Ebay. This has never happened to Chrome before.

I think it's time to get rid of Bowman, or to make things interesting, have Bowman as inserts of Bowman Chrome (the BDPP idea except the other way around).