Saturday, June 30, 2012

Deckle Edged Cards

I have always wondered how the concept of the deckle edged cards Topps produced in 1969, 1974 and now again in 2012 Topps Archives.   I have always been curious since picking up my first McCovey back in the 1990s and have never gotten a full explanation. Many other inserts make sense. 
  • Sticker - you can stick them on things
  • Tattoos - you can stick them on your body
  • Comics - to make you laugh
  • Stand-ups - to stand up and play with (I always though it would be cool to have a display of an entire team defense of stand-ups)
So what is the rational behind a card with serrated edges?  The only info about the 1969 set I could come across is that they were inserted into the 3rd series of 1969 Topps.  They were also issues in 1969 O-Pee-Chee with some slight differences - the size is a tad smaller and the facsimile signature is in black ink instead of blue.  In 1974 these reappeared as a test issues (i.e. in much lesser supply).  I still don't have the McCovey from 74, they are quite rare and very expensive.

The trigger for this long standing curiosity was receiving 2 Juan Marichal deckle edge cards in the mail on the same day recently.

This first one is the 1969 O-Pee-Chee version. I picked it up on Sportlots in an auction.  I like the close up of The Dominican Dandy with a slight smile.  The obviously posed shot is standard fare for this release but I think it works with the black and white photo.  The black ink signature is the easiest way to show it is the Canadian version.

  Next up is the 2012 Archives version.  This insert set features quite a few action shots which does separate it from the 1969 counterpart set.  This keeps with the black and white photo theme but feature a blue signature, typical of the Topps 69 issue.  While I really like cards that showcase Marichal's high leg kick, for some reason I am partial toward the original version. One other note is the discrepancy of the autos.  It really looks like two different people signed these.  Not sure if it was just an evolution over time and due to age or if one of them is a fake.

I have a couple Juan Marichal Autos in my collection and it looks like the Archives card is probably accurate.

So, if you have any insight into the origin and purpose behind the serrated deckle edges, let me know.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mail Day #8 - 60s Vintage Edition

Decided to show off some recent pick ups from the decade of the 1960s.  The 60s were before my time but there seems to be quite a bit of interesting things going on.  We has the rise of the hippie movement and rock and roll music, a ridiculous number of political assassinations (not that even one isn't ridiculous), and the rest of the US finally starting to make some racial integration progress after baseball started 2 decades before.  My favorite time to read about is the Giants team of 1962 that were so close to a World Series victory with my favorite player of all time making the last out and being immortalized in a Peanuts comic strip.


Leading off are some Post cards I picked up on the cheap.  Many of these were a quarter with none of them being over $1. Have I mentioned how I love the Sportlots auctions!  I got a couple of nice players in this group from 1961

I was also able to pick up one card from the 1962 release and it was one of the famous Alou brothers and a future Giants manager.

 Finally I got 3 from the 1963 release showcasing stats from the 62 World Series team.  That Alou picture looks kinda familiar.

I was also able to pick up 2 cards from 1967 Topps and both are Hall of Famers.  I picked up a nice looking Gaylord Perry card for a couple of bucks and the "left ear showing" version of the Juan Marichal check list.  I can see why they removed the ear for part of the set.  The positioning of his ear with the floating head design just looks off.  Two nice pick ups and I am only 9 cards away from completing this team set.

 The last group of cards are from 1964 Topps.  I really like this design, I think it is primarily due to the orange lettering that goes so well with the Giants.  I picked up the Juan Marichal Pitching Leaders card. It also has a couple other fairly decent players joining him.  I am also really happy to have picked up this card of the Baby Bull.  I only need 4 cards to complete this Giants team set with the most challenging being the Tops in the NL card featuring Mays and Hank Aaron and a high number Gaylord Perry card.  I am hoping to finish this one off by year's end.

Monday, June 25, 2012

McCovey Monday #11

 My favorite player of all time is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  I have amassed a collection of over 1100 different  McCovey cards since I started collecting him in the late 1980s.  I will show off one of my favorite cards every Monday.  Stretch was one of the most feared hitters of all time and I am excited to show off my collection.

I thought I would share a couple recent McCovey pick ups this week.  First is a Magenta Printing Plate 1/1 from Topps Archives.  This is one of the reprint insert cards, it is odd seeing a printing plate for a vintage card.  I like how visible McCovey is on this plate and you can also clearly see the Giants team name.  The circle in the upper left corner is empty but otherwise I think this is a nice, attractive plate and I am glad to have it in my collection.

Another recent pick up is this 2011 Tier 1 triple swatch jersey card.  As you can see, it is numbered 15/25.  I like the design of this card, especially the photo.  Several bloggers have commented on liking cards with multiple bats and this one fits in with that group.  Stretch is a big man and these 3 bats look toothpick-like over his shoulder which to me make him larger than life.  This is one of those cards that has been designed to fit a couple different versions. On this one all three areas are filled with jersey swatches.

Here are the other two versions that were already in my collection.  The double swatch uses the third, home plate shaped window to display the team log on a white "home plate".  I really like this version, probably better than the 3 swatch card.

The final version of this card is the single swatch.  It uses the two bottom windows to show the full team name.  I like the font of the Giants and the coloring in this window.  I feel this was a nicely designed multi-use card format and I am glad to have completed the "rainbow".

2012 Tier 1 came out last week and I am not sure if I am going to pick up a box or not.  I got one last year and was very disappointed.  My 3 hits were autos of Jordan Zimmerman and Danny Valencia (I think) and a GU card of Paul O'Neil.  Not good at all.  This year's product looks like more of the same, very hit or miss.  Probably just going to try and pick up the Giants via eBay.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Baseball Book Review - Calico Joe by John Grisham

My reading pace has slowed down quite a bit, things have been pretty busy around here and something has had to give.  Also, I read more than baseball books and got caught up in the Stephen King novel 11/22/63 - a time traveling books surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  It was a great book, I highly recommend it but at over 850 pages long it took a while to read.

My latest baseball read was John Grisham's Calico Joe.  I am a huge Grishman fan and have read all of his books. He is well know for his legal thrillers but has actually written a couple sports related books. Bleachers and Playing for Pizza are both centered around Football, Calico Joe is his first baseball themed book and it didn't disappoint.

Calico Joe

Calico Joe is a story about a fictional ballplayer named Joe Castle who is brought up to the Chicago Cubs during the 1973 season.  The story is told by a baseball fan named Paul Tracey who is the son of a Mets pitcher and also a Joe Castle fan.  I really liked the way Grisham intertwined actual players and details from the 1973 season with the fictional players and accounts of the story.  There are a couple of mentions of the SF Giants including my favorite player of all time Willie McCovey. 

Castle takes the league by storm and starts out with an amazing run after he is brought up, better than any rookie has ever started his career.  He becomes a national sensation and even the son of a Mets player becomes a fan.  The Mets and Cubs are in a pennant race and the inevitable face off between Paul's dad and Joe Castle ends dramatically.

In addition to the baseball, this is a story of a troubled relationship between a father and son along with a story of tragedy and redemption.  The story goes back and forth between the present and the past and weaves a nice story that moves at a nice pace.

I highly recommend this book for any baseball fan and really any fan of a nicely spun story.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mail Day #7 - Some 50s Vintage Beauties

Been kinda busy lately with work and the kids and haven't taken much time to post.  I usually stay up later than the family and knock out a couple posts every other day or so but I have been crashing early.

My card buying hasn't really taken a back set though so I have some nice pick ups to share that have come in the mail over the last few days.  I will showcase the Giants cards from the 50s that I have picked up starting with 1959 Topps.

I have picked up 3 from this team set recently.  The Bob Speake is a high number, my first I have picked up from this set.  Luckily there are only two more high number, unluckily they are All Star cards of Orlando Cepeda and Willie Mays.  The Felipe Alou is his rookie, so I was happy to pick that one up.  He is actually listed as one of the key rookies in this set and outside of Bob Gibson, there is little star power in the 1959 rookies. I currently have 20/34 of the Giants cards for this team set, one of my worst ratios of any vintage set.  I also have 4 Grey Back variations listed on my want list but unless I stubble across those, I don't see me picking those up anytime soon.

Next up are two cards from 1957 Topps.   Nice to get a HOFer in Red Schoendienst at a very reasonable price.  Red just spent parts of 2 years in a Giants uniform.  This Windy McCall card from 1957 Topps. It is in amazing condition and I was very happy to pick it up.  57 Topps has a rarer series in cards numbered 265-352 and this card fits in that range.  The Giants unfortunately have 6 of their 25 cards in this series and this is my first.  I have made pretty good progress on this team set with 18/25.  I need the other 5 from the rarer series, Willie Mays and one other card.  This one is going to be a tough one to finish up.

Next up is a Bob Lennon card from 1955 Topps.  I am down to needing just 2 Topps cards and 2 Bowman cards from 1955.  Again Willie Mays is on the list so this one won't be competed soon but I really like these cards and this design.

1952 Topps cards have been tough to come by at a reasonable price.  This Don Mueller card is only my 4th of the set (I do have a 5th on the way) out of the 25 Giants.  12 of the Giants are high numbers including a Hoyt Wilhelm RC.  Then there is that non-high number challenge in the Willie Mays RC. That is a dream card I am most certain I will never obtain but I will list it on my want list just in case some generous soul wishes to part with one!

 I was really excited to pick up this 1951 Topps Red Back of Wes Westrum.  It is my first every card from this set.  The Giants only have 6 cards in the set and I think I am going to go after this one soon and try and complete it. It would be pretty cool to own all of my favorite team's cards from Topps inaugural release.

 Finally 2 cards from the 1952 Bowman set.  I am approaching the half way mark on this set and I really like it.  The cards are smaller than today's standard issue but I enjoy the nice big picture of the player that takes up the entire card.  The only thing on the front outside of the player is a facsimile signature and it doesn't detract from the picture.  I really like the Westrum in his catching gear.  Also the Lockman is pretty cool with his eyes following the path of a monster shot.  I need 12 more cards for this set and will be on the lookout.  Of course the Mays won't be something I will acquire soon but hopefully the others will fall into my lap over the next few months.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Frustrations of a Set Collector

My collecting roots are in set collecting.  To me there is nothing quite as fine in this hobby than getting that last card that finishes a set.  Lately I haven't had too much joy in the Series 1, 2 and Update releases of Topps as I just buy the jumbo hobby boxes and get a complete set. However I still enjoy the chase of finishing up the insert sets.  I should have my Series 2 insert want list up soon, I only have 2 more sets to chase after.

I am in the perpetual state of trying to get organized (again).  I have mentioned many times about my great purchases on Sportlots but I am also a seller there.  I typically turn any earnings into more cards on the site so I look at it kind of like trading.  I list up all my duplicate cards on the site to potentially sell but it also gets me a nice checklist of what I have to trade.  I only can pull that inventory by year/set or by players but it is still a nice fringe benefit to have a checklist from the site.  I have been try to get my duplicates that aren't yet inventoried up on the site over the past couple weeks and filed away in my 5000 count boxes.  Through this process I have been working around a large stack of 300ish cards from 2011 Topps Pro Debut.

I wracked my brain and couldn't recall exactly what went down with this set.  I spent about 20 minutes checking through my boxes of sets in progress and those completed. I have a nice list I keep of sets I complete and it wasn't listed but I didn't recall trading and purchasing singles either.  As a set collector, making my want list is one of the first things that I do.  So I think I have finally unraveled the mystery and recall what happened.

I believe I bought 2 boxes of this product, one a few days after the other.  Past releases were issues in sets of 220 cards, this one has 330.   I sorted my two boxes and realized that I was quite a bit short of the set and had a nice stack of duplicates (unfortunately no extra Harper).  I was frustrated, put the stack of cards aside and never even made a want list.  Today I finally made the list and am 57 cards short of the set.  The set collector in me really wants this one complete.  Practically it is going to be very challenging/expensive.  I have seen very few blog posts of 2012 Pro Debut so I would bet the readers of this blog don't have many 2011 Pro Debut cards lying around.  A new box of this stuff is about $45 + shipping on line.  I may check with my LCS to see if he wants to give me a deal to get rid of his inventory.  Even if I buy all the singles on Sportlots at 18 cents apiece, that cost plus shipping is more than I want to pay - very frustrating.

Lets take a look at some of the cards of this set.  The design is quite familiar to collectors of 2011 Topps products.

Here are the two most desirable guys in the set.  I like the usage of the minor league teams and logos, it is fun looking at names like the Blue Rocks, Spikes, Jammer and Cyclones.  For the most part the photography isn't epic, look at these two cards.  We have a power hitter in Hosmer practicing bunting and an odd angled Harper photo although I do like the eye black.  The Harper has the Pro Debut logo in the corner since this was his first year card, Hosmer was in last year's set.

Here are a couple more cards of players who have risen to the big leagues.

There are blue and gold parallels that come in the packs that are serial numbered to 309 and 50 respectively.  Here are the ones I pulled:

The only inserts in 2011 Pro Debut were of the All Star teams at A, AA and AAA. They each have the same basic design with just the color banner and the lettering in the banner changing by level.  Here is a sampling of each insert set.

I also pulled some 4 autos and 4 GU out of the boxes. I believe most of those have been traded with my best being a Trout relic card.

The set collector in me is taking over, and I think I am going to need to go after this.  I have posted my want list under the tab at the top. If you happen to have any of my wants, drop me a line and lets make a trade.

McCovey Monday #10

 My favorite player of all time is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  I have amassed a collection of over 1100 different  McCovey cards since I started collecting him in the late 1980s.  I will show off one of my favorite cards every Monday.  Stretch was one of the most feared hitters of all time and I am excited to show off my collection.

I was going to stick with my trend of alternating recent McCovey cards with vintage for McCovey Monday but Fuji has a contest going asking what your favorite vintage card is and since mine is a McCovey, I figured I would show it and pick up some bonus points in his contest.

My favorite is this 1962 Willie McCovey.  There are a few reasons this is my favorite:
  • Overall card design - 62 Topps is one of my favorites, I love the wood border
  • This is a short printed card and tough to come by
  • It is tied for the highest "book value" of any McCovey base card due to its scarcity and popularity
  • I never thought I would add this card to my collection due to the high cost but I stumbled across an eBay auction, tossed in a bid and was lucky enough to win it for a very reasonable cost
  • I like the cartoon on the back but think they could have come up with a highlight a year or two more recenty
  • I usually like action photos but for some reason this picture works for me
  • While condition isn't a huge factor for me, this is in pretty nice condition.
I am not big on valuing my cards but I really thought this one was out of reach when I was able to pick it up.  I still remember the excitement I felt when I won the auction and completed my 1960s run of Willie Mac.  There you have it, my favorite vintage card in my collection.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I have been having a great day with my kids today and my dad has been in my thoughts.  He recently went through a procedure on his heart and seems to be recovering well.  I gave him a call today and he seems in fine spirits and is looking forward to our visit in July.

My dad and I have had a decent relationship throughout my life.  Early on he was my baseball coach, he pushed me hard, etc. but I believe he did what he thought was best for me.  He has always had a bigger bark than bite, he was known for his yelling when my buddies would hang out at my house but if I had to be spanked, he was the one I preferred (although he never knew that) as he would let up right at the end resulting in a fake cry while mom would always connect solidly.  Late high school and throughout college my dad hit a rough patch that was tough on the entire family and ultimately led to he and my mom getting a divorce.  He moved back to his home town and ended up taking care of both my grandparents as they suffered through illnesses and ultimately passed away - I saw this as a redemptive stage for my dad.

Over the past few years we have reconnected and have the strongest bond we have ever shared and baseball is a big part of that.  Baseball was always something we shared, he started me collecting cards with buying me packs and passed down his near complete 1959 and 1960 sets to me (which I finished and need to figure out how to best showcase in this blog some day soon).  We are both huge Giants fans and every time we talk they are the center of our discussion.  My first call after the Giants World Series victory was to my dad once I caught my breath enough to speak.

The last 2 summers we attended the All Star Game together.  2010 was in Anaheim which is in my back yard. I picked up tickets from a local broker and we attended together. He put his name in the lottery for 2011 tickets and Phoenix and got some so we took a road trip and attended all the events together, Fan Fest, the Futures Game, Celebrity Softball and HR Derby in addition to the game.  It was the longest period of time we spent together and was a really good time.

To me Father's Day is about recalling the good times with my dad and now enjoying time with my kids hoping to build memories that will last into their adulthood.

To bring it back around to cards, let me share 3 cards I picked up in a Topps pack break give away at last year's Fan Fest.

These are great looking cards, all sparkly and shiny.  The Lincecum is obviously for my Giants collection but I picked up the other two as trade bait and never offered them up to anyone. If you are interested in the Jeter or Pujols, check out my want lists.

I hope all the dads out there have a great Father's Day and I hope that everyone can think back to a great memory of their dad. If you dad is still around and you don't have a great recent memory, seize the day and make a new one.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hall of Famer Auto - Willie Stargell

One of my earliest non-Giants baseball memories was the We are Family 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates team.  I believe it was the first World Series I watched in it entirety and I was root root rooting for the Pirates since they shared a place in the National League with my Giants.  I loved the uniforms, the yellow and black coloring, the unique hats, all of it.  I even bought a Giants hat of the same style, black with orange lines circling it.

My favorite player on that team was Dave Parker.  I have picked up a couple Parker cards over the years in his Pirates uni. However, the undisputed leader of that team was Pops, Willie Stargell.  Stargell shared the MVP that year with Keith Hernandez and put up some nice numbers, .281 BA, 32 HR and 82 RBI, and while those weren't typical MVP numbers, he was rewarded in part for his leadership and the season the Pirates had finishing 98-64.  These stats don't compare to his peak in the early 70s when over a 3 year period he averaged in the mid-0.290s with 40+ HRs and 115+ RBI.   In addition to the MVP that year, Stargell also won the NLCS and World Series MVPs, quite the trifecta!

The next HOF auto I want to showcase is Stargell's 1992 Front Row Autograph.  This card came with a COA numbering it 0250/5000.  The 5000 print run kept this card affordable.  Pops passed away too early at the age of 61 in 2001 and wasn't around for the influx of auto cards in the hobby so most of his certified auto cards are limited to a few "oddball" release such as this or cut autos.  I am proud to own this copy of this inspirations HOFer.

I will close this post with a quote I recently ran across about Willie that is one of the most awesome baseball quotes I can recall.  “He doesn’t just hit pitchers,” said former Pirates manager Chuck Tanner. “He takes away their dignity.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012



I just watched history.  My favorite current Giant Matt Cain just through the first perfect game in Giants history and only the 22nd in baseball history. He was truly dominant and tied Sandy Koufax's record with 14 strikeouts in the game, 7 looking and 7 swinging.  He has some great defense behind him with a nice catch at the fence by Melky Cabrera and a Jim Edmonds-esque warning track diving catch in deep right-center field by Gregor Blanco.  Even the last play by Joaquin Arias was a pretty difficult play.

I listened to the first few innings on my iPad app and tuned into the MLB Network to watch the last 3 innings.  I love the MLB Network and the cut into games.  In this case it allowed me to watch history being made.  To put some icing on the cake, Cain's outing gave me 73 points in my fantasy baseball league.

I wonder if Night Owl is working tonight?

Congratulations Matt on making history!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Contests Galore

I have been out of town for work for a couple of days and had little time to review blogs not to mention write any posts.  And for some reason, every time I pre-write a post and try to schedule it, all my stuff disappears.  Looking through the blogs, I ran across a number of cool contests you need to check out.

First up is some awesome vintage over at Number 5 Type Collection.  He is celebrating 4 years as a blogger and is giving away HOF vintage!!!  I am loving the Killebrew he is showing off as part of the loot.  All you have to do is tell him your favorite 50s-60s player - if you read this blog on Mondays, my answer shouldn't be a surprise.

Next up is Drinking the Orange Kool-Aid.  He is having a cool contest celebrating the Stanley Cup champion Kings.  Living in So Cal, I have been casually following the Kings despite not being a huge hockey fan.  You need to share what you would do on your day with the cup.  Me, I would start off the morning eating cereal out of it with my kids (our favorite is Cinnamon Toast Crunch) then taking it to work filled with coffee during a day long meeting - need the caffeine to keep me away.  Finally I would end my day at the local sports bar watching the Giants beat up on the Dodgers drinking Newcastle Brown Ale out of the cup - What a day!!!

We are late in a contest over at Bass on Balls but it is a pretty fun one where we get to share how we are organized and what we collect.  In addition to reading up on the blog and seeing Will's answers to his own questions, it has been fun reading everyone else's comments as well.  Check it out.

Finally, Fuji over at The Chronicles of Fuji is having his 3rd annual contest. It is full of a bunch of prizes with even more to be added.  I like the way Fuji gives lots of chances to gain entries.  Check it out and join the fun!

Already thinking of an idea for my next contest so after the dust settles from these, I may join the fun.

Monday, June 11, 2012

McCovey Monday #9

 My favorite player of all time is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  I have amassed a collection of over 1100 different  McCovey cards since I started collecting him in the late 1980s.  I will show off one of my favorite cards every Monday.  Stretch was one of the most feared hitters of all time and I am excited to show off my collection.

I have been going back and forth between vintage and modern card releases each week so I guess it is time to showcase a vintage card.  Typically when I pick up a higher dollar card or one that has eluded me for a while I remember the details about picking it up.  For some reason, I have no recollection regarding this card.

This card is a 1964 Topps Stand Up of my favorite player.  The outline surrounding Willie is perforated and was designed to be punched out and stood up.  The front has the yellow and green backgrounds, gives instructions on how to perforate and shows the players name, team and position.  While McCovey is best known for his work at 1B, he did play some outfield.  With HOFer Orlando Cepeda on the same team the Giants needed to find ways to get both bats in the lineup. I guess they figured Willie Mays could cover enough ground.  There is also a small facsimile signature on the front.  The back is blank and there is no card numbering.

This set was released with 77 different player cards.  Of the 77, 22 were single printed and 55 double printed making the 22, including the McCovey short prints.  Stars included in the SP grouping include Don Drysdale, Juan Marichal, Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn, Billy Williams and Carl Yastrzemski.   There are some other great stars in this set including Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Banks, Koufax, Brooks and Frank Robinson and Clemente.

This type of card has been previously released in 1951 with a set of Connie Mack's All Stars with Gehrig and Ruth headlining the set and Major League All Stars headlining Yogi Berra and Robin Roberts.  We have seen other stand up cards throughout the years in some odd ball issues, a 1991 Topps Test Issue, 3 Bazooka releases in the 2000s and most recently in last years Lineage product. 

This McCovey has a small crease at the top near the bat and a little border roughness but it hasn't been perforated and is in pretty nice condition.  It books for $120 and there are only 2 for sale on eBay right now starting at $60. I see one sold recently for under $20.  I know I have had mine for a number of years but have no recollection surrounding the acquisition.  I am guessing I got lucky in an auction at one time.

Hope you enjoy this oddball McCovey release. Do you have a favorite oddball card of your favorite player? 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2012 Bowman Jumbo Box Break

A couple weeks back I picked up a Jumbo Box of 2012 Bowman.  I had planned on doing this post right after buying the box but never got around to it. Since I opened the box I have gotten a couple retail 3-packs with Purple border inserts and I found a seller on Facebook willing to sell me all the cards I needed to finish the 3 sets at a reasonable price.  So I figure this post can be a mix of a box break and an overview of the set.

The Jumbo box guarantees 3 auto cards amongst its 12 packs of 32 cards per pack.  There are 6 Chrome cards in each pack, 16 base cards, 8 prospects, 1 base gold parallel and 1 Bowman's Best insert.  There are other colored parallels, printing plates and a redemption for a Bryce Harper rookie mixed in as well.

Here is a look at this year's base cards. I like the white borders this year, I think it is a sharp look and a very simple design.  The team color is used to frame the card in a thin line.  There is a curved border at the bottom framing the players name in silver foil with the position below the name.  I like the addition of the team logo at the bottom center, large enough to be recognizable yet doesn't take away much from the picture.  Most of the photos are action photos and most are zoomed in I picked 4 that stood out to me as I thumbed through my set.  I like the throwback uni on the Uggla card, there are actually a few throwbacks through the set. Granderson is one of my favorite non-Giants and in this photo he is just about to drive a pitch.  The Melky card shows Cabrera in a practice uniform, again this is fairly common in this set. I like the effort to show players in their new unis.  Finally the obligatory Jose Valverde celebration photo - is there a card produced of this guy in the last couple years without him celebrating?

One of my favorite features of the Bowman cards are the backs.  In addition to the normal bio stuff, we learn when they were drafted and by who.  There are two line blurbs sharing the resume, skills and up close.  I chose Rollins' card in part because it gives a shout out to his mom who apparently was a standout fast-pitch softball player.  We finish with one year of stats with an asterisk designating the players team. The biggest drawback to the card back is the 5 lines of legal junk.   There are 220 cards in the Bowman base set which I believe is normal over the past few years.

 Next up are the Prospect cards.  The front design is close to the base design, with the main difference being the name block. Instead of the curve from in the name block, the prospect cards have a box.  Players who are appearing on their first card get the 1st Bowman Card silver logo at the top of the card, while those who have appeared before just have the Bowman name.  I picked the last 2 number 1 overall picks in this group to show.  I also like the catcher's gear on the Giants minor league catcher.   The Indian's pitcher has just released the ball, check out the torque on his arm, it is totally misshapen.  Also, he is wearing a necklace that is swinging around to hit him in the chin.  The card backs are almost the same with the main difference being the back border.  There are 110 cards in this set all proceeded by the letters BP.

 The final set of cards in the Bowman release are the Bowman Chrome Prospects.  They are parallels of the Prospects on a chrome card stock.  Here are a few of the Chrome cards.
 There is one gold parallel to the base set in standard Bowman fashion.  Nothing too exciting here.

 There are also parallels in various other colors.  The blue borders are numbered to 500 while the Orange are numbered to 250.  The blue chrome refractor is numbered to 250. Nothing super exciting here.
 I mentioned that I bought a few retail packs and those come with purple parallels to the Prospect cards. Here are the ones that I have.
There are also International parallels with the flag of the country or origin in the background.  The base cards have black borders and the prospects come with white borders.

New this year are the Silver Ice and Red Ice parallels.  I wasn't lucky enough to pull a Red Ice card (although I have picked up a Giants prospect on eBay) and they are numbered to 25. However I did pick up the Jeter in my box break and the Helton in a retail pack.  The other cards is a refractor numbered to 500.

Each back in the Jumbo box had a Bowman's Best parallel.  This first grouping are the regular Bowman's Best cards while the second group are the Bowman's Best Propsects.  The designs on these don't excite me, I don't see them as awful but I was hoping for better.

 This year's Bowman had a wrapper redemption program with limited quantities.  I quickly sent my wrappers in and was rewarded with these 5 cards.  They don't scan too well but actually look pretty nice.

 Finally the hits.  I was lucky enough to score two autos in my retail packs.  The Thompson is a blue parallel numbered to 500.  Same basic design as the Prospect cards with a sticker auto on the front.

 My box yielded the expected 3 autos, I didn't get any huge players but was lucky enough to color up on one gold auto numbered to 50.  You know Mr. Davis' parents had to be baseball fans naming their son Rookie and he goes well in a Bowman product.  These autographs are on card which is nice.

Overall I like this product this year but don't love it.  The design of the cards works for me.  I like the on card chrome autos in the hobby boxes.  The price point to me is too high based on the value you get out of the box.  I am not one of those people who expect to flip my cards and make my money back but the insertion of 100 Bryce Harper autos into a product that is fairly mass produced probably drove up the price 30-50%.  I guess that is the business but for a team and set collector it takes some of the fun away.  After sorting through my box, I was able to find someone to sell me all my set needs for $25.

All the inserts/parallels/hits are for trade.  I do have some duplicates from the 3 sets if you are looking for particular teams or cards to complete a set.  My Giants list has a lot of holes so take a look at my 2012 Giants Want list if you have some for trade.