Review: 2020 Bowman

  1. Card Design:

It’s here! Bowman is here! Bowman has become one of the products during the year like Flagship or Heritage where the Paul Reveres of the hobby scream throughout the night once it arrives. And it has an even bigger meaning this year with a lot of pent up hobbyists awaiting a large product release. The only thing with this initial release is Topps has had to limit what each outlet gets initially due to printing issues with the shutdown. What that means is it will be hard to find early because everyone will go out and buy it all up from every outlet it is available. Now, let’s get to the cards themselves. The card design is all photo with a small “B” logo for Bowman in the top right, a miniscule listing of the player position in the bottom right, the play name at the bottom with the last name much larger and darker than the first and the team logo larger in the bottom left corner. If the card is a rookie, the “RC” logo will be in the top right. The design is clean and has a Flagship feel but with the proper horizontal player info instead of vertical.

Score 4.0/5.0

  1. Checklist Review

The base set checklist contains 100 cards as usual and then 150 cards of prospects. It could be said that Bowman’s checklist may be the “least recognizable” to traditional collectors because of the abundance of prospects. However, that it is its appeal because want in early on the next big thing. It is unique this year until baseball begins because we don’t have a way of knowing yet who is putting up the monster numbers. The 100-card list also has 40 cards with the RC designation for rookie card with names including Aquino, Luzardo, Bichette and Alvarez. The Prospects list will have familiar names like Franco, Dominguez, Witt, Greene, Rutschman, Gorman, Adell, Madrigal, Bart, Mize and Robert along with a host of names you do not know yet.

Score 4.25/5.0

  1. Collectability

Collectable for some can be a relative term but in my humble opinion, if you are chasing it, then it is collectable to you. And based on the hype, there are a lot of folks collecting Bowman. Is that pent up demand? I don’t think so. Bowman has this hype every year because of the chase for the prospect Autos and with players like Dominguez in this year’s release, the collectors are lining up. That list includes breakers, hit chasers, flippers, prospectors, set builders and all in between. 

Score 4.0/5.0

  1. Favorite Parallel/Insert Set

Bowman is always loaded with Parallels and the 2020 version doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Here are the Parallels available in the Base set: Sky Blue (numbered to 499), Purple (numbered to 250), Blue (numbered to 150), Green (numbered to 99), Yellow (numbered to 75), Gold (numbered to 50), Orange (numbered to 25), Red (numbered to 5), Platinum (numbered 1/1) and Printing Plates (numbered 1/1). The Prospects set has the same list but adds Camo. The Chrome Prospects is loaded with a laundry list: Atomic Refractors, Refractors (numbered to 499), Speckle Refractors (numbered to 299), Purple Refractors (numbered to 250), Blue Refractors and Blue Shimmer Refractors (numbered to 150), Aqua Refractors and Aqua Shimmer Refractors (numbered to 125), Green Refractors and Green Shimmer Refractors (numbered to 99), Yellow Refractors (numbered to 75), Gold Refractors and Gold Shimmer Refractors (numbered to 50), Orange Refractors and Orange Shimmer Refractors (numbered to 25), Red Refractors and Red Shimmer Refractors (numbered to 5), Superfractors (numbered 1/1) and Printing Plates (numbered 1/1). Bowman has its share of Inserts too including Spanning the Globe (20-card set with Parallels), Hidden Finds (20-card set with Parallels), Talent Pipeline (30-card set with Parallels), Rookie of the Year Favorites (15-card set with Parallels), Bowman Scouts Top 100 (100-card set with Parallels and 18 c ards have Gary Vee Variations) and a 50-card set with Parallels dedicated to the 1990 Bowman design. 

Score 4.4/5.0

  1. Autos/Relics

2020 Bowman: Autos? Yes, plenty. Relics? Sorry. Everyone wants Bowman Autos so there are plenty to chase. Let’s look at what all is available for you to seek out: 1990 Bowman Autos (33 cards with Superfractor Parallels), All-America Game Autos (numbered to 199 with Parallels), Prospect Autos (41 cards with Parallels) and Rookie of the Year Favorites Autos (11 cards with Parallels). If that wasn’t enough, there are Chrome Autos too: Bowman Chrome Scouts Top 100 Autos (66 cards with Superfractor Parallels), Bowman Chrome Hidden Finds Autos (12 cards with Parallels), Bowman Chrome Prospect Autos (62 cards with Parallels), Bowman Chrome Rookie Autos (14 cards with Parallels) and Dual Bowman Prospects Autos (6 cards with Superfractor Parallels).

Score 4.2/5.0

  1. Overall

Bowman arriving helps bring some normalcy to the hobby because it was one of the key releases. It is amplified this year because of everyone being holed up for weeks and then venturing out and emptying their retail or hobby spot to rip, flip or hold for their collection. The only down is with no baseball, there are many prospects that we can’t track their performance, so everything is based on what was done last year. The future value of many of the cards in Bowman is predicated on the return of live baseball. Let’s hope it is really soon.

Overall Score 4.17/5.0

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