Archive for Bowman

In Memoriam: Tyler Skaggs (July 13, 1991 – July 1, 2019)

Posted in In Memoriam with tags , , , , on July 1, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I hope 2019 Bowman Mega Boxes are gone before I see them

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

2019 Bowman Mega Boxes have begun to hit shelves — a week earlier than the advertised release date — and people in the hobby are going nuts trying to find these lottery tickets.

Personally, I hope they are gone before I see them.

Why? Don’t I like cards? Don’t I want a shot at pulling some ridiculously priced prospect card?

The answer to all of that is yes. And that’s MY problem.

I’ve got an addictive personality, and a serious case of FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out — so I tend to over extend myself on retail products I don’t even collect simply because that’s what’s hot, and I have this feeling that I must buy some (or all) if I actually locate it in the wild.

We’ve been breeding this culture that once you see it, you’ve got to buy it all. I know I am not the only one. Go look at your Twitter feed and message board posts and look at the number of people dropping $300-$500 on baskets full of Bowman Mega Boxes; go look at the walls of Mega Box Wax being shown off.

This isn’t the only product that gets us doing this, but it is the latest. Because we know that somewhere within these $20 boxes of surprise could be lying a card that might be worth (resell value) thousands, but we participate en mass knowing that most cards will be worth just a few quarters in most cases.

Personally, I know what I’ll do when and if I see these things. I’m sure I’ll buy two or three. And I’ll feel that excitement and rush as a I check out. And moments later that feeling will be gone after I open them, a replaced with the idea that “what if” I bought another two or three? And then the sickness continues.

Good luck to any and all who open Bowman Mega Boxes. I have no ill feelings toward any of you. Just do yourself a favor and make sure those boxes are FACTORY SEALED … we all know that only two packs in each box are really why you’re buying them, and if history has shown us anything, cheap-ass scammers can and will find a way to remove them from boxes.

Small 2019 Bowman break and some thoughts

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Misc. with tags , , , on April 30, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

There was a time when I would anticipate the release of Bowman as the true beginning of MY card collecting year. At the time I didn’t value Topps flagship the way many other do. I was all about the rookie cards and what better place than to start the card year than with the self-proclaimed “Home of the Rookie Card.”

But times and collecting habits have changed. And really our hobby has changed as well as finding Bowman on retail shelves “in the wild” has become akin to a Hot Wheel collector seeking the elusive Treasure Hunts.

I shop at Target a lot. Not just for cards, but for pretty much everything I need. So every time I go in I take a look at what’s new. And while I no longer hunter Bowman the way I had say in 2010, I am still keeping an eye out for a blaster or two just to try my luck.

Well, the stuff is gone. Period. I’ve not seen a single blaster, and up until yesterday I had not even seen a “Value pack,” one of the 19-card types for $5.99. All I had seen to that point was an occasional loose pack from a gravity feeder.

Feeling as if I had found some sort of gold by simply locating two Value Packs, I decided to buy them, as well as a single loose pack. I’ll tell you, that $3.99 price tag on Bowman retail is mighty ugly.

If there is one thing I have learned from Bowman in recent years its that unless your card has ink on it or is shiny and bears a low serial number, odds are the secondary market doesn’t care a whole lot. And while as a collector that market shouldn’t matter, it still creeps into MY head when I am shelling out a few bucks — in this case $3.99 for 12 Bowman cards — and it does make think more before pulling the trigger on any said purchase.

Anyway, Bowman is what it is — the lottery ticket of the baseball genre of card collecting. It’s not what it was in the 1990s; it’s really about the Chromes embedded within the backs, and the variations thereof.

I won’t tell you how to collect or spend your money; hell, evenm I get a little wrapped up in this gamble. Which is why I bought the two Value Packs and the loose pack, the results of which I shall share below.

The loose pack had a nice Green Refractor /99 inside of a top prospect Nico Hoerner, who has had Bowman Cards before. It’s a nice hit for 1:141 packs, even cooler since this is a local guy for me. Sadly, this card does bear some scratches on the surface. Ugh.

The first Value Pack sort of picks up where the loose pack left off. Does the name on that Refractor look familiar? Yeah, it’s Nico Hoerner again, this time /499. Surface isn’t bad, but I’d have to balk if someone asked me the age-old Chrome speculator question: “Will it gem?”

The last Value Pack had the biggest name in out hobby right now — aside from Mike Trout — on a good-looking prospect insert. Vlad Guerrero Jr. is THE guy to chase/own/sell and this is a good looking card that would probably net me a whole $1 at auction. I’ll just toss it in the small stack of other Vlad’s I have sitting around.

I definitely beat the odds with the few packs that I found, but unless I find a blaster in the wild, I probably won’t be buying much more of this. (I did buy five Bowman loose packs but haven;t written about them — nothing big in those either — and no Clayton Kershaw cards either.) I have no intention on paying full hobby box prices, or paying $3.99 for a loose pack at this point. This isn’t MY scope of collecting any more.

In Memoriam: Don Newcombe (June 14, 1926 – Feb. 19, 2019)

Posted in In Memoriam with tags , , , , , , , on February 19, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

1950 Bowman Don Newcombe Rookie Card.

Serial numbers matter … sometimes.

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

As a player collector there comes a time when you ask yourself: How much is that serial number on that insert or parallel worth? More specifically, how much of a premium do you place on a serial number that matches the player’s jersey number.

Personally, it matters to me … but only to a point. I won’t pay a significant premium for such things, but I will pay more than ai would for every other serial number.

And it’s really an inconsistent thing, truthfully. Like for inserts or parallels that I really enjoy, I’ll definitely pay a bigger premium. But for sets like Topps Moments and Milestones, I may not even care.

The topic came to kind again today as I received my latest Roger Clemens serial numbered parallel : a 2007 Bowman Heritage Black Border serial numbered 22/52.

Clemens is a tricky one, he wore three jersey numbers over the course of his career. He wore 21 with the Red Sox and Blue Jays, and then initially 12 with the Yankees, before moving to 22, which he wore in For the remainder of his New York career and his time in Houston.

In Memoriam: Jose Fernandez (July 31, 1992 – Sept. 25, 2016)

Posted in In Memoriam with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

When I stop to post something on a baseball player who has passed away, I typically will show their rookie card — or something close to it — and leave it at that. Today, I will do something more.

img_0245By now you’ve heard the news, Marlins ace pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed early Saturday in a boating crash. He was 24.

I repeat, TWENTY FOUR.

People come and go in our real lives, usually not at or before the age of 24. And if by chance they do pass at a young age we all stop and call it unfortunate. This case, albeit involving an athlete, a budding superstar, a guy paid millions to play whats been called  kid’s game, is no different.

The death of Mr. Fernandez has struck me like no other athlete’s has struck me in recent memory. Muhammad Ali passing a few months ago was big, but didn’t punch me in the gut this way because Ali lived a full life. Besides, by the time I came to know Ali he was already in retirement; I was only living with the legacy that he’d already built.

When Dave Henderson died in December of 2015 that hit me a bit because growing up I watched him play in Oakland AND two of his twin nieces were in my fourth and fifth grade classes. They  brought a signed bat of his to class for show and tell once. Even then I merely posted  picture of his 1982 Topps rookie card and moved on.

When Cardinals top prospect and super rookie Oscar Tavares died during the post season of 2014, the card world mourned because he was supposed to be THE guy. Collectors bought into him heavily hoping to reap financial benefit, but they all wound up dumping his cards post mortem for mere pennies on the dollar. Personally I was saddened as usual, but wasn’t really affected — I hadn’t had a chance to see him do much of anything on the diamond. Also, the suspicion that he was driving while reportedly being intoxicated kind of changes the tone a bit.

And then there is the sad case of Angels super prospect Nick Adenhart, who died after his car was struck by a suspected drunken driver on the morning of August 9, 2009, just HOURS after Adenhart in his one and only MLB start of the year. I repeat: His car was hit by a suspected drunken driver; Adenhart was not the party who was intoxicated. A bright future was there for Adenhart, but again, he had a lot to prove at the Major League level.

Now lets come back to the present as it pertains to Mr. Fernandez, the bright, smiling face of a Marlins organization that comes and goes as it pleases in baseball with almost no real foot print. True, outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the longest-tenured Marlin with the club and sure-fire Hall of Famer Ichiro recently joined the land of baseball immortality with his 3,000 hits, but neither of them in my mind was as big of a star for the Miami club as Mr. Fernandez.

He was all of 24, but everything he showed us in his four seasons in Major League Baseball lead us to believe he certainly was flirting with greatness.

During his age 20 season, he went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts en route to capturing the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year honors.

Elbow injuries shortened his 2014 and 2015 seasons, but even when he was playing he still maintained his dominance to the tune of a 10-3 record over 19 starts during which he struck out 149 batters in 116 1/3 innings.

And this year he was dominating his opponents to the tune of 12.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. At the time of his death he’d struck out 253 batters in only 182 1/3 innings of work. He had 16-8 record and a 2.86 ERA over the course of 29 starts. In his final outing on Sept. 20, he went 8 innings against the eventual National League East champion Washington Nationals, allowing only three hits while striking out 12 batters — just another typical Fernandez outing.

I took a liking to Fernandez during his rookie year. His stuff was electric and his style — even his hair — reminded me a bit of Ricky Vaughn from Major League the movie. There was just something about the guy that made you watch the game. I made it a point to own the above pictured 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Refractor autograph and when it came to keeper fantasy baseball leagues, he was mine — forever, just as Clayton Kershaw shall be.

img_0239Oddly enough the news of Mr. Fernandez’s death came to me through a push notification from Yahoo Sports.  There I was using the restroom when a bell rang on my phone. I’m in the semi-finals of my league’s playoffs, a day away from entering the championship round, so I was intrigued by this seemingly odd notification that Fernandez’s status was changed from “healthy” to “day-to-day.” I clicked on the link and boom: the news hits me like a ton of bricks. And not because he was a part of my team, but because he was a hell of a talent and because he was just a kid.

He was 24. What were you doing at age 24? For me. I had graduated from college a year earlier and was only a few months into my career as a professional journalist. The Marlins, oddly enough, had defeated the Yankees in the 2003 World Series and in 2004, my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, had completed an unbelievable comeback against the New York Yankees during the American League Championship Series and then went on to win club’s first World Series in 86 years.

By the time I had turned 24 I hadn’t been married yet and was still five years away from having the first of my two children. At age 24 I was just becoming an adult. Sure, Mr. Fernandez had talent, fame and fortune that most of us could only dream of, but I’d imagine that when all of those material things are stripped away, he wasn’t that much different that most of us at that age. He was enjoying the life of a young adult, but still had many real life milestones ahead of him.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Fernandez. May there be nothing but called third strikes for your pitching career in the afterlife.

 

 

 

 

In Memoriam: Joe Garagiola (2/12/26-3/23/16)

Posted in In Memoriam, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 23, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

 photo 8C0B74A2-8618-4B31-B921-6D2A04991E12_zpsoc4wqs2s.jpg

1951 Bowman Joe Garagiola, rookie card.