Grand Cards: Tigers Gallery & Review: 2010 Bowman Chrome

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tigers Gallery & Review: 2010 Bowman Chrome

Playing catch-up on 2010 sets now, but better late than never...

I am not a Bowman collector. I never have been, mostly because I tend to not really like how the cards look (see: my thoughts on 2010 Bowman). But, I was drawn to a 2010 Bowman Chrome case break for two reasons. 1: The promise of splitting profits from any Stephen Strasburg cards. Hmm. How'd that work out? 2: The chance of hitting top Tigers prospect Jacob Turner who, just before release, was cut from the checklist.

So, great. More comments after the jump, but in the meantime, here are the Tigers in 2010 Bowman Chrome, in all their shiny glory.

Base Set Like 2010 Bowman, with new RCs.

#12 Magglio Ordonez

#35 Miguel Cabrera

#87 Justin Verlander

#121 Rick Porcello

#173 Max Scherzer

#176 Johnny Damon

#188 Austin Jackson RC

#189 Scott Sizemore RC

#208 Brennan Boesch RC

#217 Andy Oliver RC

Bowman Chrome Prospects The picture on Brayan Villarreal appears to actually be Casey Crosby. Also, why is Wilkin Ramirez 1. Still considered a prospect and 2. Shown as a Tiger?

#BCP147 Brayan Villarreal

#BCP157 Luke Putkonen

#BCP167 Rawley Bishop

#BCP191 Wilkin Ramirez

#BCP218 Daniel Fields

Prospect Autographs This is the raison d'ĂȘtre for this set. I was lucky enough to get the refractor auto of Daniel Fields in the break, although it was warped to hell. The Wilkin picture is a refractor too.

#BCP191 Wilkin Ramirez Auto

#BCP218 Daniel Fields Auto

Inserts These are pretty nice looking, and are a surprisingly hard pull for being a relatively insignificant series. I didn't get any of these (refrators shown).

#TCP9 Austin Jackson

#TCP68 Wilkin Ramirez

#TCP80 Scott Sizemore

Team USA Prospects I've never included these before, but I know of at least two team USA players who were signed with the Tigers after this year's draft. Take 'em or leave 'em as part of the team set at your discretion.

#USA18-BC2 Nick Castellanos

#USA18-BC16 Kyle Ryan

My full take on the set after the jump.

I have a new appreciation for places like eBay, where I can jump on and probably get a refractor of any player for about $1. This was a case break, a case of cards was broken, and I got four refractors of Tigers. Four. They are awfully nice though:

Still, it's reasons like this why I don't buy boxes of cards anymore--it is almost impossible to get what you want out of them (as a team collector, at least). Of course, I also happened to benefit from getting a relatively huge pull--a refractor autograph of Daniel Fields, which was quite exciting.

Still, I'm left asking why Bowman Chrome is a necessary set. It stands on its own, sure, but it is really just a paralleled repeat of Bowman, with a few extra bells & whistles. There certainly doesn't seem to be a reason for Bowman and Bowman Chrome to be two separate releases, especially spread out over the course of a few months, and especially with a third product--Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects coming out in December. I feel like just as they did with BDP&P, Bowman and Chrome could benefit from some consolidation. Make this one product, with chrome cards as parallels to the regular set.

On it's merits though, Bowman Chrome is perfectly fine. The Chrome cards are nice enough, despite a bland design, and the refractors have that wonderful rainbow shine to them, even if they aren't as nicely done as Topps Chrome, which has the etching and all. Of course, Bowman Chrome also seemed to sidestep the horrible quality control issues that Topps Chrome suffered from this year, horrible warping first and foremost.

Bottom line: Bowman Chrome is what it is. I'm not a prospector, so the #1 appeal of the set is lost on me. The aesthetics of Bowman are super bland, which is pretty much what I look for when deciding what to collect, to that doesn't do much for me either. I could see going after a refractor team set, but beyond that, it holds very little appeal. For prospectors, Chrome aficionados and team-collection obsessives though, this isn't really a set that can be overlooked.