Bowman Prospect Cards vs. Rookie Cards

This is the second article in The Bowman Series, an in-depth look at Bowman Baseball Cards. In this article I take a look at the difference between a rookie card and a 1st Bowman card. The distinctions between each and why the 1st Bowman is NOT a Rookie Card.

I am going to start off by saying this up front: The 1st Bowman Cards and all other cards that appear in the Prospect subsets of Bowman and Bowman Chrome or the entire set of Bowman Draft are NOT rookie cards. These are prospect cards.

There, I said it. End of article.

Wait, what do I mean “NOT rookie cards”? 1st Bowmans are literally the first card of a player’s professional card. How is that not a rookie?

Ok. Let me explain myself…

A rookie is defined as a player who has reached the Major League level and has not exceeded 130 at bats, pitched more than 50 innings or spent more than 45 days on the active roster in a previous season. These players are still considered Prospects. The one exclusion to all of this is that service time after the September 1st call-ups do not count towards these qualifications.

So the key take away here is that a rookie is a considered a player who has reached the major league level. Rare instances will occur where a card in the prospect subset will feature someone who has played in the Major Leagues. The majority of the time, players in these set will only have Minor League service time.

A Prospect is defined as a player that has not reached the Major League level or has appeared on a Major League roster, but has not reached those minimums as defined above.

The term “pre-rookie” had been thrown around as an alternate label to these cards. While technically correct, it feels inconsistent. We do not label every card that comes out for a player after his rookie season a “post-rookie card.” Rather, they are labeled veteran cards, if any label is to be applied at all.

Far too often on social media and auction websites like eBay the Bowman Prospect cards are referred to as rookie cards. While they might be the first cards to come out of players in Major League uniforms, they are in NO way rookie cards. To call Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s 2016 Bowman Chrome a rebooking card would be a mistake. His rookie cards are any cards that came out after his MLB debut, which is almost all of his 2019 cards.

A “true” rookie card is defined in our hobby as the rookie card that appears ion the Topps flagship release, whether it is in the base set (Series 1 or 2) or the Update (Traded) set with the player on a Major League team.

Wait a moment… don’t all Topps cards have pictures of players on a Major League Team? I thought the Topps Flagship release featured MLB players and teams. Well, the answer is no, but let me explain…

The Major League team demarkation is an important distinction because there is a lot of discussion as to what Mark McGwire’s “true” rookie card is: the 1985 Topps #401 or the 1987 Topps #366. The answer plain and simple is this: the 1987 Topps #366 is Mark McGwire’s “true” rookie card.

In 1984 Mark McGwire had no Major League service time as he was drafted in June of that year by the Oakland Athletics. There isn’t even any indication of a MLB team on the back of this card. This card should be viewed like the 1st Bowman card: as a prospect card. The same can be said for the Jason Giambi, Nomar Garciaparra and other Team USA cards that have appeared in Topps releases since the 1980s.

Now, from here you could make the case that Draft Pick cards like the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas or the 1993 Topps Derek Jeter card are prospect cards. I am going to reserve this topic for a future post. My purpose for discussing the Team USA cards is to illustrate their correlation to prospect cards. Team USA cards are solely based on amateur or prospect play and not MLB service.

While not rookie card, prospect cards are still very desirable. Many collectors will “prospect” or “invest” in the 1st Bowman cards in the hopes that the player makes it to the Majors, making that card more valuable. There are two factors that can easily inflate the value of a prospect card. The first is a small sample size of his performance with his Minor League team. A hot streak or a good month off a season can increase the perceived value. Also the Prospect’s ranking on the Top Prospects lists will affect the value. The higher up on the you the prospect is, the more likely that player is to make the Major Leagues.

In addition to the Bowman Prospect subset and Bowman Draft cards there are a couple of other types of prospect cards. Topps Pro Debut and Heritage Minor League feature the Top Prospects in their Minor League uniforms. The majority of the MiLB teams produce team sets of their players from the current season. These team sets are quite desirable as the print runs on many of them are between 1,000 to 2,000 sets. Interestingly enough even though there are lower print runs, these team sets do not hold value like the Topps Minor League sets or the Bowman Prospects subsets.

No matter what type, all of the cards in the sets described above are Prospect cards. To label any of them rookie cards would be incorrect.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to post them below or email me at efcards19@gmail.com.

The Bowman Primer

This is the first Article in the Bowman Series. In this series I will discuss various Bowman releases, what makes them special and why they can have some of the most highly sought after cards. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to post them below or email me at efcards19@gmail.com.

Stepping Up To The Plate

In talking to a few collectors there seems to be some confusion about Bowman and each of the primary releases. Three sets fall into this category: Bowman, Bowman Chrome and Bowman Draft. Each set share the same basic design. There are, however, distinct differences that set them apart.

Leading Off: Bowman

The first Bowman release of the year is simply called Bowman. This set consists of a 100 card base set of veterans and rookies. There are two subsets that are a main part of this release. The first is the Bowman Prospects Set which consists of 150 cards with a BP prefix with the card number. This subset has a base stock, like the veterans and rookies set. The other subset is Bowman Chrome Prospects. This subset contains the same cards as the Prospects set. The difference is the Chrome stock on which the cards are printed. The prefix for the card number is changed to BCP.

Some collectors call these prospect sets “inserts.” Inserts are typically inserted into packs randomly. There are odds associated with pulling inserts. For example in 2020 Bowman retail the Bowman Scouts Top 100 Insert falls approximately 1 in every 4 packs. In the same retail packs there are 3 base prospects and 2 chrome prospects. This is why I view the prospect cards as “subsets.”

On Deck: Bowman Chrome

The next Bowman product in this trilogy is Bowman Chrome. This set uses the same basic design as Bowman. As the name implies, this set is printed entirely on Chrome stock. Like the previous set there are 100 base veteran and rookie cards. Many of the players are recycled from the Bowman release in this set. However, recent rookies and other impact players are mixed in.

Bowman Chrome has only one subset: Bowman Chrome Prospects. This time the Chrome Prospects subset consists of 100 cards. The numbering picks up where the previous release left off starting with BCP151.

This is where some of the confusion lies with the collectors. Bowman Chrome extends out the Chrome Prospects with an additional 100 cards numbered through BCP250. The base prospect set ends with card BP150. When trying to figure out if the Chrome Prospect is in the Base or the Chrome set look at the numbering. Cards BCP1-BCP150 belong to Bowman and BCP151-BC250 belong to Bowman Chrome.

In The Hole: Bowman Draft

Bowman Draft is the third release from Bowman that uses the same design. Unlike the previous two releases, there are no base veteran and rookies set. All cards in this 200 card set are Prospect cards. As the name suggests this set focuses on players who were drafted in the MLB June Amateur Draft. There are other Top Prospect mixed in highlighting those who have had breakout seasons.

This set breaks down into two parts: base and chrome. All 200 cards in Bowman Draft are available in the base and chrome versions. The numbering is independent of the previous two releases. The base cards have a prefix of BD and the chrome BDC.

Time-Out

One thing that can be very tricky about all of the Bowman releases is that certain prospects can appear in multiple sets. It is not uncommon to see some of the Top Prospects in multiple releases. For example in 2015 the Oakland Athletics Matt Olson had prospect cards in Bowman Chrome and Bowman Draft. Different photos were used in each release to help differentiate the cards. Sometimes that is not enough to identify which set this card belong in. However, if you focus on the card numbers, they are not too difficult to identify.

The Follow Through

Most of the information contained in this article refers to Bowman releases from 2015 to current. In 2014 and earlier releases, the numbering for the various Bowman releases was different and the quantity of cards in these sets and subsets varied. This is a topic that might be covered in future article in the Bowman Series.

Recap: 2020 Bowman 1st Edition

In late-April Topps offered customers a chance at ordering a special product tied in to the forthcoming 2020 Bowman release: 2020 Bowman 1st Edition. Topps sold these in packs of 10 cards exclusively on their website: topps.com. Each pack retailed for $14.99 which averages out the $1.50/card. Not bad in my opinion for an online exclusive. I decided to order 10 packs of this product. Anyone who knows me knows that Bowman is one of my favorite releases of the year, along with Topps Pro Debut and Bowman Draft. So I had to go for this product.

The ordering process was excruciatingly difficult, it took me close to 90 minutes of refreshing and waiting to actually get my order processed. I didn’t just sit around hitting refresh wasting my time, I wasn’t about to do that. During my attempts, I was busy sorting cards and reorganizing my office, so it was actually a productive time. Finally, I received the order success screen and I was done.

This was when the real waiting game began. I paid to have my 10 packs shipped FedEx Ground instead of SmartPost which would have been free shipping. My thought was that I would have gotten the cards faster. Maybe I did get them faster, but I’m not sure. The FedEx center in my area has been backed up for weeks so it took an extra 3 or 4 days to get the package form Topps. No matter, the packs finally arrived on Friday, May 15th.

I was really excited to open this product. The 2020 Bowman 1st Edition features the 150 card prospect set from 2020 Bowman with a special 1st Edition logo on the front of the card. The numbering on the back is also different. Instead of being numbered BP1-BP150, they are numbered BFE1-BFE150. This product features some of the most sought after prospects Jasson Dominguez (Yankees), Bobby Witt, Jr. (Royals) and Robert Puason (Athletics).

Randomly inserted into packs are colored foil parallel cards. Here is a breakdown of these chase cards:

Sky Blue Foil – 1:2 packs
Blue Foil #/150 – 1:10 packs
Yellow Foil #/75 – 1:19 packs
Gold Foil #/50 – 1:28 packs
Orange Foil #/25 – 1:56 packs
Red Foil #/5 – 1:279 packs
Platinum Pattern Foil #/1 – 1:1,375 packs

Based on pack odds alone it appears as if Topps printed 206,250 packs or approximately 8,600 boxes of this product. This estimate puts the print run for each base card somewhere between 1,300 and 1,500.

As I mentioned I only picked up 10 packs of this product. In this recap I am going to go through each pack showing what I pulled. Pack #1: Top Prospects CJ Abrams (Padres) and Kristian Robinson (Diamondbacks) and a Sky Blue Foil of Aaron Ashby.

Pack #2: Cristian Javier (Astros) and Jhon Diaz (Rays) highlight this pack in which I also pulled a Jorge Mateo (Athletics) Sky Blue Foil.

Pack #3: This is where I pulled this biggest base card of the set: Jasson Dominguez (Yankees). I also got Julio Rodriguez (Mariners) and Luis Garcia (Nationals) out of the pack.

Pack #4: Andrew Vaughn (White Sox) and Hunter Greene (Reds) led off this pack. However, the best card was a Jorge Mateo (Athletics) Gold Foil Parallel #10/75.

Pack #5: This pack brought top prospects Tarik Skubal (Tigers), Dylan Carlson (Cardinals) and Ronny Mauricio (Mets).

Pack #6: Matt Manning (Tigers) and Drew Waters (Braves) were among the better prospects in the pack until I hit a Robert Puason (Athletics) and a Blue Foil Isaac Paredes (Tigers) 036/150.

Pack #7: Not a lot of fireworks in this pack, but Josh Jung (Rangers) and Miguel Amaya (Cubs) are the highlights.

Pack #8: Two of the San Francisco Giants Top Prospects were in this pack, Marco Luciano and Joey Bart. However, the highlight was Andrew Vaughn (White Sox) Sky Blue Foil.

Pack #9: Jarred Kelenic (Mariners) and Jo Adell (Angels) were the top picks in this pack. Gus Varland (Athletics) is an interesting prospect that could develop into a quality starter.

Pack #10: The final pack netted me Luis Robert (White Sox) and J.J. Bleday (Marlins). Also pulled a Cal Mitchell (Pirates) Sky Blue Foil.

This was a fun set of packs to open. I knew going into it that the chance of an autographed card was small, so I wasn’t disappointed when I didn’t pull one. As a collector I have been focusing more and more on building sets lately. I am still debating on whether or not I want to try to build this set. Right now I have about 94 of 150 cards. There are a couple more expensive cards I’ll need to get to complete the set.

With that said, I was very happy with my results from the 10 packs of 2020 Bowman 1st Edition. I pulled 2 of the big 3 1st Bowman cards from this set in Robert Puason and Jasson Dominguez. As for parallels, I seemingly beat the odds with 4 Sky Blue Foil parallels, 1 Blue Foil Parallel #/150 and a Yellow Foil #/75.

I really like the design of Bowman this year. It’s a clean look with a full white border around the picture. The mix of prospects that Topps included in this set is exciting. There are quite a few 1st Bowman Card logos scattered throughout the 150 cards highlighting the potential next generation of baseball players.

2020 Bowman 1st Edition

On Friday, May 15th I finally received my order of 10 packs of 2020 Bowman 1st Edition. The package was sitting at the FedEx distribution center in Tracy, CA since Sunday, May 10th. With everything that has been going on with COVID-19 this facility has been backed up and they finally processed the trailer the package was sitting in and delivered the cards.

This weekend I will write a review of the product and post pics of the 10 packs I bought and opened. Bowman has long been one of my favorite releases each year. So I decided to treat myself this year to a few packs of the 2020 Bowman 1st Edition.

The Bowman Series

One thing I have been thinking about for a while is writing a series of articles about Bowman Baseball Cards. There seems to be some inconsistencies in the hobby about terminology and there is some confusion among collectors about what Bowman really is and how to tell the difference between the releases.

Bowman tends to be one of my favorite releases throughout the year. These cards have some special meaning to me on various levels. When you take the time to really step back and look at their product lines, it’s really not too complicated. I do not consider myself an expert in Bowman products. However, I do have a great understanding of their line of cards and I hope to clear up some confusion.

In this series of articles I will look at the three primary Bowman sets: Bowman, Bowman Chrome and Bowman Draft. I will also discuss topics like Bowman’s Best, why there is a need for this product, and the highly sought after Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs. Later this week I hope to publish my first article in The Bowman Series: The Bowman Primer.

I encourage everyone to comment and give feedback, both good and bad, about my articles. I have been writing on and off for a few years and ideally I would like to make improvements my writing style.

Giveaway in Conjunction with Carmen’s Angel Fund

Elephant Farm Cards has partnered with Carmen’s Angel Fund for their first ever Twitter giveaway! The main prize will be a 2019 Topps Update Jumbo Box. To qualify for the giveaway, you must follow Elephant Farm Cards (@efcards), Carmen’s Angel Fund (@carmenfund) on Twitter AND make a qualifying donation to the Carmen’s Angel Fund Team for the Fresno Hydrocephalus Awareness Walk on Sunday, November 10, 2019.

To receive one entry in the giveaway, a qualifying donation of $25 must be made to ANY of the team members on Carmen’s Angel Fund’s Team page. A donation of $50 will receive 3 entries in the giveaway. See chart below for complete breakdown of donations and entries.

DonationEntries
$251 entry
$503 entries
$1006 entries
Every $25 increment above $100 2 additional entries

To clarify, a donation of $100 receives 6 entries, a donation $150 will receive 10 entries.

Donations made through Saturday, November 9, 2019 will qualify for the giveaway. All entries will be placed into a list and the list will be randomized through giveaways.random.org on the night of Sunday, November 10, 2019 after the event has taken place.

After you have made a donation please feel free to send a direct message to Brian Bice (@efcards) via Twitter or an email to carmensangelfund@gmail.com so that we can verify the donation. If a donation is made to anyone on Carmen’s Angel Fund’s Team other than Brian or Melissa Bice, we will need a screenshot of a proof of donation for verification.

There is no limit to the number of donations you can make and the number of entries you can receive. Donations must be made to a participant of the Carmen’s Angel Fund Team page through the Fresno Hydrocephalus Awareness Walk site: http://support.hydroassoc.org/site/TR/WALK/General?team_id=4866&pg=team&fr_id=1490 Carmen’s Angel Fund is unable to accept donations directly at this time.

If you wish to join us in Fresno for this event, or you wish to participate as a virtual walker, and earn bonus entries, here is a guide on how to join our team: https://carmensangelfund.org/2019/09/29/how-to-join-our-team/

If you have any questions what so ever, do not hesitate to send a message to Brian Bice through either Elephant Farm Cards Twitter account (@efcards) or to carmensangelfund@gmail.com

Donations made to the Hydrocephalus Association for this event are 100% tax deductible. Hydrocephalus Association is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Federal ID #94-3000301

2019: Collecting Goals

Over the past couple of weeks, as 2018 was coming to a close, I began to think my collecting goals for the next year. As I covered in a previous post, 2018 was all about redefining my collection. In doing so, I revised my collecting habits and focused my collection. As we move into 2019 many of my collecting goals will be focused.

Set Collecting Goals
As for the sets I want to collect, the list right now stands at 11 sets. Topps Series 1 & 2 (counted as 1 set), Topps Update, Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Bowman Draft, Pro Debut, Heritage Minor League, Gypsy Queen, Topps Big League, Heritage (including High Number), Donruss.  This may seem like a big list, but there were easily over 50 sets released in 2018.

Most of these sets I will buy complete. My plan this year is to reduce the number of hobby boxes I purchase. There are a few of these sets that I will always want to buy a hobby box or three to open: Bowman, Bowman Draft, Pro Debut and Heritage Minor League. These are my favorite sets and I love opening those packs.

I am considering buy hobby boxes of Gypsy Queen and Heritage, but a lot depends on the price of the boxes. Last year Heritage was priced out of my range because of the Ohtani autographs. Donruss has been a fun box to open in the past and I may just get one this year.

The others however, I am going to buy as complete sets. I have met some great sellers on Twitter, like Christopher Torres (@CRT_Sportscards), that I definitely plan on doing some business with this year for my set and PC needs. As always, I will still buy a few packs here and there, just to see what the product looks like as it comes out. My intent this year is to start redirecting my hobby money to all aspects of my collection.

PC Goals
First and foremost is my Athletics PC. Above all else, this PC is my primary collecting focus for 2019. In 2018 I ended with 8,230 unique cards in my PC. The total amount of cards on my Athletics checklist is 19,726. So, my collection stands at 41.72% complete. I also have quite a few uncatalogued cards for which I need to create listings before they can be counted in the PC.

My goal for the A’s PC is to be at 50% complete by the end of 2019. This means I need to add approximately 1,633 unique cards to my collection, IN ADDITION to all of the cards that come out in 2019. There were over 600 unique A’s cards released in 2018. That means I will need to add roughly 2,000 cards in 2019 to reach this goal.

The other goal I have for the A’s PC is to complete the base sets (including traded/update) for Topps from 1970-present, Fleer (1960-61, 63, 81-2007), Fleer Ultra (1991-2007), Donruss (1981-98, 2001-05, 2014-present), Score (1988-98), Bowman (1989-present) and Upper Deck (1989-2010). The Score run will be the easiest to complete as I only need 5 cards at this point. I will cover the status of this goal in a future post.

I have quite a few player PCs that I am looking to organize and expand in 2019. My primary players include: Mark McGwire, Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Jesus Luzardo, A.J. Puk, Austin Beck, Lou Trivino, Daniel Mengden and Daniel Gossett. I was fortunate to see many of these guys in the Minor Leagues, particularly with the Stockton Ports, and they are some of my favorites.

My McGwire PC is going to receive the most attention this year. I need to take some time to reorganize it and catalog the cards I have in this PC. One goal I have is that I want to add 50 1987 Fleer Update McGwire and 50 1989 Upper Deck McGwire cards to the PC. These are two of my favorite McGwire cards along with the 1987 Topps.

I do have individual goals for each of the player PCs, but I am not going to take the time of list each goal here. Suffice it to say that I am looking to add a significant number of base cards (including doubles) and autograph cards to each of these player PCs. It would be nice to get each one of them into their own 1.5” binder by the end of 2019.

I am also considering adding at least 3 more players to the PC list in 2019. One prospect I really like that I am strongly considering is Sean Murphy. He is viewed as the A’s catcher of the future. Murphy will be starting the season with AAA Las Vegas and we could see him in Oakland sometime in 2019. I met him and got to see him play when he was with Stockton in 2017. He has a cannon of an arm.

Rainbow Project Goals
This year I will finish my current Rainbow project: 2018 Topps Update Lou Trivino. I currently need 3 more to finish it off: Gold /2018, Pink /50, Camo /25. There is another, Clear /10 that I would love to get, but only for the right price. For my collection the Rainbow only goes down to /25. Any card I get with a shorter print run is a bonus.

I will be resuming my Matt Olson 2015 Bowman Draft Rainbow. I don’t remember where this one stands, but I started it a couple years ago after I happened to win a printing plate from this set for a very good price.

I plan on starting at least one new Rainbow project this year. Not sure which player or which set or how many Rainbows, but one will be from a 2019 release. Two players I am considering are Matt Chapman or Jesus Luzardo.

Sets In Progress
I mentioned in my previous post that I have quite a few sets that I have started that I have never completed. In 2019 I intend to complete some of those sets. There will be other sets that I add to this list, but I know I want to complete.

2018 Topps Big League
2018 Topps Heritage Minor League
2017 Topps Chrome Update – 17 cards needed
2018 Topps Series 2 – didn’t buy much, may just buy complete
2013 Pinnacle – 112 cards needed

Lists for most of these sets can be found on the Sets in Progress page on this blog. (Insert link) If you have any of the cards I need for my set, I would be interested in making a trade.

MiLB Collection
I love going to Minor League Baseball games. It’s fun to watch players develop. It’s also a great way to meet prospects and get their autographs. This year I want to organize and expand my MiLB collection. The Stockton Ports are my home team and the Modesto Nuts (formerly A’s) is my secondary home team. My goal is to expand both of these collections by picking up all of the team sets I need from 1991-present. I also want to get all of the Pro Debut, Heritage Minor League and other major label Minor League cards from 1991-present for this collection.

Another goal I have for my MiLB collection is to create some binders for the other Oakland A’s affiliates by level. For 2019, my goal is to pick up all of the AAA (Nashville and Las Vegas), AA (Midland), A (Beloit) and Short Season (Vermont) affiliate team sets from 2015-present.

 

As a whole these goals do seem a bit lofty. However, over the course of the year, they are very attainable and simple. Again, these are my goals and they can change at any time. There many be a product that comes out that is simply amazing that I want to chase. Or there may be a new player that arrives at the MLB level that I want to collect. These are flexible goals. I just wanted to create a plan for myself as I head into the new year. Last year I redefined the direction of my collection, this year I want to move it forward and take it to the next level.

If you don’t already, you can follow me on Twitter at @bicemusic. I am always open to bulk trades. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or comment below!

2018: Creating Definition

I love collecting baseball cards, I always have and I always will. I believe there is no wrong way to collect cards, as long as you are enjoying the hobby. Personally, I needed to redefine my collection, give it focus. It was wandering, I was buying the some of the latest product and only completing 2 or 3 sets each year. Also, I had a lot of Oakland Athletics card, over 20,000 cards at the time, but the organization was haphazard. Over the past year, I have spent a lot of time trying to refine and organize my collection.

I have a lot of friends in the hobby that I have met through Twitter or Instagram. We would talk about our collections and our approach to building them. These conversations helped me to redefine how I collect baseball cards. In February, one of my friends Ben (@ourtradingcards) offered to send me a copy of his Oakland Athletics Master Collection Checklist.

This checklist helped me to refocus my A’s collection. I was clearly able to see what cards I have in the collection. I was also shown how many cards I am missing from my collection. There were many cards and sets that I didn’t even know existed. I am very thankful to Ben for this checklist.

I am still going to collect sets. My approach to buying these cards is still being refined, but I am limiting what packs I will buy and which sets I will buy complete. I used to buy packs of whatever came out from Topps and Bowman. These purchases left me with many cards, either duplicates or sets I don’t wish to complete, stored in boxes taking up space.

My list of sets I am going to collect in 2019 is still being refined, but it will definitely include: Topps (Series 1&2, Update); Bowman (Base, Chrome and Draft); Gypsy Queen (my new favorite) and the Minor League sets (Pro Debut, Heritage Minors). There are others I am on the fence about, but I know my approach to buying these cards will be different than in years past.

In the next few days I plan on writing a post about my collecting goals for 2019. There are certain cards and sets I wish to acquire in the next year. I am still working out some of the details, but I plan on posting my goals within the next week.

2018 was about redefining my baseball card collection. 2019 will be about taking it to the next level (hopefully).

If you don’t already, you can follow me on Twitter at @bicemusic. I am always open to bulk trades. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or comment below!

Non-Team PC Players

This article was inspired by a tweet from a friend of mine @BigShep79 on Twitter. He posed the question “Who is the one player (not on your team) you’d want to or do PC?” The one player that immediately came to my mind is Tony Gwynn. He was my favorite non-A’s player growing up and, in fact, he still is my favorite non-A’s player.

Non-team PC player tweet.

In a way I do have a small PC of Gwynn. About 10 years ago I started to pull aside all of my Tony Gwynn cards. They currently sit in one of my boxes with some of my A’s collection. If I were to guess I would say there is probably about 50-75 cards in that stack. Most are base junk-wax cards, nothing too special. One of the more “interesting” cards I can remember is from the bottom of a 1988 Topps wax box. I haven’t bought too many more Gwynn cards since doing this, but I’ve been thinking about it more lately.

In thinking about this non-team PC concept, I wanted to take it a step farther. I am going to select a position player and a pitcher from three different “eras” for whom I would start a hypothetical PC. The three “eras” are: current, childhood and vintage.

Current players:
Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

Childhood players:
Tony Gwynn, San Diego Padres
Randy Johnson, Seattle Mariners

Vintage players:
Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirates
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers

Honorable Mentions:
Trevor Hoffman, San Diego Padres – not really a childhood guy, more like an adult era player (for me). He was my favorite closer not named Eckersley during the 1990s.

Ernie Broglio, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs – he was the Cubs return in the infamous Brock for Broglio trade. How did that work out for you Cubs? He is also a local (Northern CA) guy.

Red Schoendienst, St. Louis Cardinals – I have been told that I look like his doppelganger.

Dave Kingman, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics – technically he did play for my team from 1984-86, so he’s not a true non-team player. I have recently decided to start a PC of him. Kingman was one of my first “favorite players” and that is why I wanted to mention him here.

There are plenty other players I could list, but these are some of the ones that immediately came to mind.

What’s really interesting about this question is the diversity of the answers received thus far. One would think that guys like Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Derek Jeter, Kris Bryant would have dominated the responses. Instead the players are as diverse as the collectors. Of 14 collectors who have responded, at the time of this writing, only two players have been doubled up: Tony Gwynn and Mike Trout. The list contains 14 other players including: Roberto Clemente, Wil Myers, Ryne Sandberg, Nolan Arenado, Bo Jackson and Julio Franco.

It will be interesting to see where this list goes. Another facet that would be worth looking at is why? For most collectors when it comes to PC players the reasoning is more that just, “I like that player.” There is something specific about that player that really drew the collector to them.

As stated at the beginning of the article, if I were to only select one my non-team PC player would be Tony Gwynn. Why Tony Gwynn? He was the absolute best hitter in my childhood/young adult life. Every time I saw him play, he would rack up a couple hits per game. I don’t think I ever saw him strike out in any of the games I watched. He was fun to watch. I remember watching the game in August of 1999 when Gwynn slapped a single to right-center for his 3000th career hit. There was just something special about watching Tony Gwynn.

tony-gwynn

Feel free to comment below or on Twitter about your non-team PC selection. Let me know why! I would like to follow up on this article with other collector’s thoughts.

You can find me on Twitter: @bicemusic