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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

The Sports Bookie

A sports blog by Bob D'Angelo

Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia.

Collect call: 2014 Bowman Inception baseball


Published:

Bowman Inception baseball returns for its sophomore season, and it’s once again a marriage made for higher-end collectors who like rookies and prospects.

A hobby box includes one pack of five cards, and even though it hovers around the $100 mark, there are four autographs and one autograph/relic card. All are on-card signatures except for the auto/relic, which is a sticker. How valuable the hits are depends on your collecting habits. If you’re looking for established stars, there is at least one insert that caters to that taste (1989 Bowman is Back Silver Diamond Refractors). Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the youth movement, because Bowman excels in this category.

I really like the wood background on the card. It really stands out as the backdrop for prospect cards, which have a vertical design. Rookie cards are horizontal in design. Wood also is the theme on the card backs.

The pack I opened yielded three of the 58 prospect autograph cards that Bowman offers: Jorge Polanco (Twins), Kevin Plawecki (Mets) and Tyler Pike (Mariners). Polanco is interesting because the Twins called him up from the Class A Fort Myers Miracle to the big-league club on June 26, effectively allowing the shortstop to skip Double- and Triple-A ball.

The fourth card was a Rookie Autographs cards of the Reds’ Billy Hamilton, a green parallel numbered to 25. There are nine different Rookie Autograph cards in the set, plus parallels in gold (numbered to 99), blue (75), pink (50), green (25), red (10) and purple (5). Inception and printing plate cards for each player are 1/1s.

The final card was an autograph of Alex Hanson (Pirates) that also included a gray uniform swatch.

Some of these guys might become established big-leaguers. That’s the lure of Bowman’s rookie and prospect cards. The fact that many of these have on-card signatures makes it even more attractive for collectors with an eye for the long term.

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