Thursday, May 2, 2019

Bowman Fever

Last week's #crackinwaxmailday featured new Bowman cards. 

Is Bowman a scam now? I say this with absolutely no shade directed at the good people at Crackin' Wax, who do a tremendous job with their group breaks. (I seriously wonder if they have time to do anything else with their weekends.) It just seems like, beginning with last year's Ohtanimania, Topps went in a different direction with their product, and not in a fun way. I seem to remember opening a few packs -- maybe even a blaster -- every year, and pulling a couple of fun parallels and maybe some trade fodder. It now seems slightly less than impossible to pull anything that isn't a common insert. And the retail prices have been inflated to the point where you only get six packs in a blaster. If you follow the Topps fuzzy blaster math where you get a "free" pack for purchasing a blaster, that equates to roughly $4 a pack of mostly base cards with a shrinking base of veterans. Bowman seems like more of a lottery than ever, which is not super fun for me.

Well, let's look at some of the cards I got in this case break. Genesis Cabrera was one of the prize pieces acquired in last season's Tommy Pham deal. I have complex feelings about that trade.

The base design is... fine. It's actually one of their better designs, at least in my book, because it at least feels distinctive. I have a hard time telling the difference between the 2017 and 2018 cards. This probably won't change anytime soon. I can spot the new stuff easily, though. I can also spot a lousy Photoshop job pretty easily, even when I know to look for it on this card of Paul Goldschmidt in a "Cardinals" uniform.

I think Nolan Gorman was single-handedly the reason why the Cardinals ended up costing a fair amount above the average for this break. This team hasn't really had a super-prospect in awhile. This is another tribute to the 1989 Bowman set, shrunk down to a manageable (storage-friendly) level.

It's also nice that these were my first Gorman cards. Photoshopped!

I have a feeling that Gorman will be higher than #55 next year.

Ryan Helsley is segregated in the "prospects" division of this set, but he made a few appearances with the big club in April.

Andrew Knizner (pronounced Kiz-ner for some reason) is now the new Carson Kelly, because Yadier Molina will outlive us all and never retire from baseball.

Here are some guys that we should be excited about! More Genesis! Knizner, are you number 96 or number 93? Make up your mind!

There ended up being no definitive "hit" in my case break allotment, but I have plenty of dupes if anyone is into plain old Cardinals cards.


  1. Is Bowman a scam now? Yes! And an argument could be made that pretty much every other product from Panini and Topps is too.

  2. They are what they are. I opened quite a bit last year but that was only due to the Acuna and Ohtani mania. But otherwise there just isn't much fun in these packs. From the price point to the lack of names they are tough. Some people love it but the product is nothing but speculative. And they can print cards of every minor league player for the heck of it. I've opened my pack for the year and will probably keep it to that each year. Good post.


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