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.

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!

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.

Card of the Week: Carlos Rodon Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor

This week’s featured card is the 2015 Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor Autograph of Carlos Rodon. This card is numbered 69/250. I pulled this card out of a hobby box of Bowman Jumbo that I picked up from my local card store.

Carlos Rodon Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor Auto #69/250 - Front

Carlos Rodon Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor Auto #69/250 – Front

Carlos was drafted by the Chicago White Sox as the 3rd overall pick in the June 2014 Draft. He shot up though the Minor Leagues and made his Major League Debut on April 21, 2015, just over 10 months after being drafted. In his first full season Carlos went 9-5 with a 3.75 in 26 games, 23 of which were starts. It looks like Carlos will be a mainstay in the White Sox rotation for years to come.

Carlos Rodon Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor Auto #69/250 - Back

Carlos Rodon Bowman Chrome Purple Refractor Auto #69/250 – Back

 

Card Serial Number

Card Serial Number