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.

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!

Collecting Goals – March 2018

I have been thinking a lot about my card collection lately. I have a lot of Oakland Athletics cards, it is one of my passions. Recently, a new friend of mine Ben (Twitter @ourtradingcards) sent me a copy of his Oakland A’s master checklist.  Looking through this checklist, I realized that there are a lot of cards I don’t have. There are some sets that I never even knew existed.

I have decided that I am going to set collecting goals for myself each month. I am on a budget and I need to limit and focus my spending. This will help me save money for sets and hobby boxes I really want, like Bowman and Topps Pro Debut, while making progress on my Oakland A’s collection.

Each month, I am going to pick up a few Oakland Athletics Team Sets I do not have. One will be a Vintage set. Vintage I will define as pre-1980s cards. One will be a set from 1980-1999. One will be a set from 2000-2017. The final one(s) will be any team sets from new releases.

Here are the team set I am planning to purchase for March 2018
Vintage: 1954 Bowman
1980-1999: 1988 Mother’s Cookies Oakland Athletics SGA
2000-2017: 2009 Upper Deck
New Releases: 2018 Topps Heritage (02/28), 2018 Donruss (03/07), 2018 Topps Opening Day (03/14)

Note: Topps Gypsy Queen, Inception and Tribute also release in March, but I will likely be saving those sets for pickup in April. March is a release heavy month.

Vintage
I chose the 1954 Bowman as my Vintage set because it is a simple design that I have always liked. There are 14 cards in this team set and I already have 2 in my collection: Bobby Shantz (#19) and Alfred Robertson, Jr (#211)

1980-1999
The Mother’s Cookie Cards are some of my favorite cards. For the most part they have a full-bleed design (no borders), good profile photos and a nice glossy finish. These are typically limited in quantity (approximately 15,000 sets each year) because they were a Stadium Give Away (SGA). I chose the 1988 set because it is one I have been wanting because it was the first year I really followed the A’s. I’ve been a fan since 1985, but didn’t really start following intently until late 1987.

2000-2017
I chose the 2009 Upper Deck because I’m pretty sure my Local Card Shop (LCS) has this team set and I want to support them while picking up something I need.

The sets in these goals will not be all that I buy, but they will be the primary focus of my spending.

Spring Training in Full Swing on Monday

The pitchers and catchers reported this past Wednesday. Position player reported to camp today. The first full-squad workouts begin on Monday. This is an exciting time of the year for sure!

The Oakland Athletics will kick off their 35 game Spring Training Schedule (including split squad games) on Friday in Mesa, AZ against the LA Angels of Anaheim. The Spring schedule will conclude with the annual Bay Bridge Series March 25th-27th. One game in Oakland and two in San Francisco.

Player Profile: Seth Frankoff

Seth Frankoff, relief pitcher
Sacramento River Cats

2014 Stats (through 7/15)
2-2, 4.31 ERA, 15 saves, 31 games, 39.2 IP, 50 strikeouts

Seth Frankoff was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 27th round of the 2010 June Draft. Since that time he has been making a slow, but steady climb through the Athletics’s farm system.

Seth began the 2014 season with the Midland RockHounds (AA). A couple of weeks into the season he established himself as the closer of the staff. Seth notched 15 saves in 27 games en route to a Texas League All-Star selection. In his All-Star appearance Seth pitched a scoreless 8th innings striking out one batter.

His success in the closer’s role during the first half of the season for the RockHounds, earned Seth a promotion to the Sacramento River Cats (AAA).

Since his promotion he has pitched in 4 games for the River Cats. He has struggled posting a 15.00 ERA in 6 innings. However if history is any indication, we will see Seth’s ERA drop over his next few outings.

During the 2014 Spring Training, Seth made one appearance with the Oakland Athletics. That came on March 6th where Seth pitched 1 inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He gave up 1 hit, struck out 1 batter and earned the win.

After the 2013 season, Seth was selected to pitch in the Arizona Fall League for the Mesa Solar Sox. In 12 games he posted a 1.42 ERA with 3 walks and 15 strikeouts.

2013 was a breakout season for Seth as he spent the entire year with the Stockton Ports (A Advanced). In 48 games he posted a 2.78 ERA with a record of 2-0 in 48 games. In 74.1 innings for the Ports, Seth struck out a career high 93 batters.

In 2012 Seth pitched the entire season with the Burlington Bees. This was where he made the conversion from being a starting pitcher to a relief pitcher. It was in this transition where Seth really found his place on the pitching staff. That season Seth started in 9 games and was 1-3 with a 9.17 ERA. After the transition he pitched in 27 games posting a 4-4 record. What was significant was that his ERA for the rest of the season was 2.51, giving him a 4.83 ERA on the season.

Seth’s first full season in profession baseball was 2011. He started the season with the Burlington Bees (A Full Season). He pitched in 5 games tallied a record of 0-1 with a 11.25 ERA. He came back in June with the Vermont Lake Monsters (A Short-Season). In 14 starts he was 6-3 with a 2.34 ERA and struck out 63 in 73 innings. Seth pitched 2 complete games that season both against the Connecticut Tigers. One was on June 23rd where he gave up only 1 run notching his first victory of the season. The other was a shutout that came on August 26th.

Seth earned the New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Week honors for 2 consecutive weeks on August 29 and September 6, 2011.

New in Oakland, Part 1: Pitchers

This is the first installment of a 3 part series introducing the newest members of the Oakland Athletics. These players were either signed as a free agent or traded for during the off season.  This first installment will introduce the new pitchers on Oakland’s 40-man roster.  These players may or may not make the opening day lineup, but figure prominently in Oakland’s future.

Scott Kazmir, starting pitcher – Scott was signed as a free agent to a 2 year contract in December. The 30 year old missed the entire 2012 season and made a comeback with the Cleveland Indians last year. In 2013 he went 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA, 162 strikeouts and 1.32 WHIP in 29 games.  Scott figures to be the Athletics’ No. 2 started behind Jarrod Parker.

Jim Johnson, closer – Jim was acquired by the Athletics in exchange for the struggling Jemile Weeks and catcher David Freitas. Jim was a league leader in saves last year as he earned 50 in 59 opportunities. Jim has a 2.94 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP. Jim will take over the closer role previously occupied by Grant Balfour.

Eric O’Flaherty, relief pitcher – Eric was signed as a free agent to a 2 year contract in January. You can see our post about it here: A’s sign O’Flaherty. While Eric is recovering from Tommy John surgery and will not be available until mid-season, Eric was an anchor of the bullpen for the Atlanta Braves over the past 5 years. In his MLB career Eric is 20-9 with a 2.85 ERA, 245 strikeouts in 343 games with the Braves and the Seattle Mariners.

Fernando Abad, relief pitcher – Fernando was dealt by the Washington Nationals to the Athletics for Minor League outfielder John Wooten. In 2013 Fernando was 0-3 with a 3.35 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 39 relief appearances

Luke Gregerson, relief pitcher – Luke was dealt to the Athletics by the San Diego Padres for outfielder Seth Smith. In 2013 Luke was a workhorse on the Padres staff compiling a 6-8 record with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 73 relief appearances.

Josh Lindblom, relief pitcher – Josh was a part of the trade that brought Chris Gentry from the Texas Rangers to the Athletics for Michael Choice and Chris Bostick. It is likely that Josh will start the season with the Sacramento River Cats, but he could figure prominently in the bullpen later in the season. In limited duty with the Rangers Josh went 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA in 8 games, 5 of which were starts.

Drew Pomeranz, starting pitcher – Drew was acquired by the Athletics along with minor leaguer Chris Jensen in the trade that sent Brett Anderson to the Colorado Rockies. Drew will begin the year with the Sacramento River Cats and figures to be a starter with the Athletics some time in the next year or two. Drew pitched in 8 games, 4 starts, last season for the Rockies and compiled an 0-4 record, 6.23 ERA in 21.2 innings.

2014 Oakland Athletics Minor League Coaching Staffs

Here are the Oakland Athletics Minor League coaching assignments for the 2014 season:

Sacramento River Cats
Manager: Steve Scarsone
Hitting Coach: Greg Sparks
Pitching Coach: Rick Rodriguez

Midland RockHounds
Manager: Aaron Nieckula
Hitting Coach: Webster Garrison
Pitching Coach: Don Schulze

Stockton Ports
Manager: Ryan Christenson
Hitting Coach: Brian McArn
Pitching Coach: John Wasdin

Beloit Snappers
Manager: Rick Magnante
Hitting Coach: Lloyd Turner
Pitching Coach: Craig Lefferts

Vermont Lake Monsters
Manager: Dave Newhan
Hitting Coach: Tommy Everidge
Pitching Coach: Steve Connelly

Notes: When the Athletics previously announced the coaching staff Craig Lefferts was to return as the pitching coach of the Vermont Lake Monsters and Jimmy Escalante was to be the pitching coach for the Beloit Snappers. Since that time Escalante has left the organization. Lefferts will take over in Beloit and Steve Connelly will now serve as pitching coach with Vermont.