Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Bowman is Weird, Too
There's that man again.
Sometimes I imagine explaining certain things to people who have been trapped in a well for a really long time, or are just coming out of a long term coma, or maybe Marty McFly'd (McFlew?) their way to this time and space. Bowman would be weird to explain, if you knew anything about bubble gum cards.
(You see, Bowman and Topps were rivals, but big bad Topps pushed them out. And then, in the late '80s, Topps decided to revive the Bowman brand name as sort of a retro novelty brand with a weird new way to look at stats that was completely meaningless because of small sample sizes. This didn't really go anywhere for a few years until they decided to abandon the whole retro thing completely and turn the set into a weird glossy gimmicky thing full of lasers and ready to crush your hopes and dreams and empty your bank accounts because the upside to most of these players is probably Ben Grieve or Alan Benes.)
Bowman hasn't really changed a whole lot since the mid-'90s. It's a small set featuring a group of veteran players glued together with another small set of minor leaguers who haven't accrued any MLB service time. In keeping with the times, there are many parallels, autographs, bells and whistles attached, mostly focused on the so-called prospects. Some of these guys will be great! But it's a really weird alternative to the mainstream, unless you're in one of two categories: Category A, the bored who don't have a huge budget and Category B, the high rolling prospectors who will find like most games of chance the odds aren't ever in your favor. (I fit into Category A, if you were questioning this at all.)
I picked up a retail rack box (I don't even know what to call these things anymore) in a moment of weakness at a Toys 'R Us store, which means I overpaid by several dollars. It actually wasn't a bad box, all things considered. I did have the retail exclusive Tim Cooney parallel already knocked off my list thanks to a recent trade package, however. Cooney performed pretty well in his stint filling in for an injured Jaime Garcia earlier this summer, and has a good shot at competing at a rotation spot if John Lackey doesn't return next year.
The non-rookies aren't completely left out of the parallel fun, as Adeiny Hechavarria's Silver Ice version shows. I am pretty certain a catastrophic global event brought on by climate change will end my blog before I ever get in touch with an honest-to-goodness Marlins collector, so this is probably going to sit in a trade box until the end of days.
Fortunately, some guy I've never heard of signed a piece of tape which was affixed to this card, rendering it extra-tradable. I'll be sending this off to my friendly neighborhood White Sox collector. People actually like the White Sox.
This is my first Kris Bryant card! He's already got a spot in the Hall of Fame, guys. Guaranteed.
My only other Cardinal in the lot was Nick Petree's prospect card. I also already received this in a trade. Petree has been below my radar up until this point, but it turns out he's a starting pitcher out of Missouri State and has been pitching at AA Springfield this season after starting the year in high-A ball.
There are plenty of other Cardinals I need from this set, however, if you've dabbled in the Bowman weirdness.