Grand Cards: Tigers Gallery Checklist: 2010 Bowman

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tigers Gallery Checklist: 2010 Bowman

When I think of Bowman the following words usually come to mind:


That, my friends, is why you shouldn't always listen to bloggers.

2010 Bowman has exploded like Eyjafjallajokull and is showing no signs of slowing down. Just today A Cardboard Problem linked us to non-chrome autos of Stephen Strasburg that have sold for over $700. The Cardboard Connection has been all over it from the start. As they reported, within 48 hours over 100 cards sold for over $85 with high sellers bringing in over $500. With the first week in the books, the Top 10 Bowman sales has the cheapest card--A Jason Heyward Gold Refractor Auto that is numbered to 50(!)--selling for $800. $800!

The Dusin Ackley superfractor sold for $1,150 and the Autographed version for $3,495. The Strasburg Superfractor currently has an asking price of $20,000. Things have gotten out of hand.

Sooz thinks that a confluence of events has led to this Bowman explosion, and I'm inclined to agree. Gellman gives Topps a pat on the back for putting out an excellent product, even though they have an exclusive license on baseball cards.

With Chrome Autographs of Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore, Tigers fans have a reason to be excited too, albeit a more reasonably priced one. Bowman has been, and will always be, about the prospects. That's certainly the case this year. And while this means that some prices have gotten completely out of hand, it also means that more product will be opened, and more base cards, parallels and less coveted autographs--the casualties of case-busting--will be made available for you and me.

Removing our hype-colored glasses, is 2010 Bowman really worth jumping into?

Base Set I'm not one to spit in the face of the hype machine, but we've seen this before, right? Right? Like in 2009, maybe? Look, I realize that the designs are not exactly the same, but come on: black border, red piping (although this year's rookies get Green!), minor modifications. Can you tell the differences between a 1996 Ford Windstar and a 1997 Ford Windstar? Of course not. They're there, but they don't really matter.

We are left with those same adjectives that I'm always left feeling about Bowman. This is another base set that isn't particularly exciting and doesn't really matter. It's the necessary evil of making a set that is really designed to get prospects into our greedy little hands. As in the past, some of the photography is nicely done--Damon and Porcello come to mind--and the checklist is fairly well rounded. In fact, for Tigers fans 2010 Bowman features the first non-photoshopped Tigers cards for Max Scherzer and Johnny Damon and the first major league rookie cards of Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore.

The best part of the set? The Golden Ratio. 9 base cards for you to happily fill a page with. (Super Bonus--the Master Set is a Golden Ratio too! 27 cards if you collect a version of each) Update: with the addition of the Zach Simons Retail-Only Autograph card, the Golden Ratio is blown all to hell and you're left with one hanger-on on a new page

#33 Magglio Ordonez

#115 Miguel Cabrera

#134 Justin Verlander

#153 Max Scherzer

#156 Johnny Damon

#164 Rick Porcello

#198 Austin Jackson RC

#199 Scott Sizemore RC

#207 Brent Dlugach RC

Prospects There are four prospect cards. Boo! That makes Adam Wilk the hanger on. These prospect cards are plain Jane looking but OMGZ! Prospects! Anyway, Casey Crosby and Cody Satterwhite are your legitimate Tigers prospects here and it's nice to see them on cardboard.

#BP20 Casey Crosby

#BP26 Cody Satterwhite

#BP33 Gustavo Nunez

#BP58 Adam Wilk

Chrome Prospects Must buy Bowman...Chrome Prospects... Same checklist, I picked some different colored refractors out for you for some variety. Refractors are fun.

#BCP20 Casey Crosby (Blue Ref. #/250)

#BCP26 Cody Satterwhite (Refractor #/777)

#BCP33 Gustavo Nunez (Orange Ref. #/25)

#BCP58 Adam Wilk (Gold Ref. #/50)

Autographs and Relics These cards are, surprisingly, the sideshow in Bowman, with the exception of prospect refractor autographs. The relics are almost entirely unimportant. Here we have Scott Sizemore's Futures Game jersey (#/99) The autographs have the potential to be dynamite (as we've seen this year) and the Tigers offerings do not disappoint. No Prospect Autos for the Tigers, but I'd rather have Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore anyway. These are very nice cards and feature on-card signatures which is a HUGE plus.

Update: There is a retail-only autograph series of cards, including AA Tigers Pitcher Zach Simons that wasn't included in my original post. These cards are not chrome and have clear sticker autographs, although I will say that Simons' card looks particularly nice to me. Maybe it's his signature.

#198 Austin Jackson Auto (Ref. #/500)

#199 Scott Sizemore Auto (Ref. #/500)

#BPA-ZS Zach Simons

#FG-SS Scott Sizemore (#/99)

Inserts We all know that you don't care about the inserts. Well you're a real stick in the mud. Here's what we've got: cards that are designed after the eminently forgettable 1992 Bowman design (why?), a rather nice set detailing the Top 100 (Topps 100, get it?) prospects in baseball, and a cool front and back card featuring a pro player and his prospect equivalent which is pretty neat.

#BT39 Rick Porcello

#BT47 Miguel Cabrera

#BT68 Justin Verlander

#TP9 Austin Jackson

#TP68 Wilkin Ramirez

#TP80 Scott Sizemore

#BE29 Johnny Damon / Slade Heathcott

Having virtuously blown the hype smoke from your eyes, you are now free to evaluate how you feel about Bowman. The best you're going to do is an Austin Jackson autograph, which I must say is a pretty nice little card. Prospect wise, there is some promise from the Tigers. Personally, I'd like to get my hands on some of the refractors and then run down to Lakeland and teach Gustavo Nunez how to hit.

Bowman is what it is and always has been, not that that's a bad thing. Just don't be fooled into thinking that it was sent straight from the gods to cure what ails you.