Friday, December 16, 2011

Fixing Bowman and Bowman Chrome

Hopefully, Topps reads this post and steals all of my ideas and makes eleventy billion dollars off of it.

After my last post, I realized that there is hope for Bowman and Bowman Chrome.  All it needs is a little re-imagining and retooling.  The last 2 years of Bowman has been buoyed by Strasmas and Harpermania and that has helped collectors gloss over the fact that Bowman has some problems and has for a while now.  I think the general consensus around the blogs is that Bowman is tired, bland, boring, and pointless.  Personally, I think that none of those is necessarily true but I can agree that it does need some work. Here's some suggestions that I think would make Bowman and Bowman Chrome more appealing to collectors:

1. Change the name of Bowman Draft Picks to Bowman Series 2.  It would create a little more continuity between the 2 sets and make the numbering system easier to understand.

2.  Stop putting Bowman Chrome Prospects in with regular Bowman.  Bowman can stand on its own and doesn't need Chrome to help prop it up.

3.  Use 1997 Bowman and Bowman Chrome as a template for the revamped version.  1997 Bowman had 441 cards in the set.  Bowman Chrome had 300.  Every player does not need a Bowman Chrome version.  Even the prospects don't all deserve Chrome versions.

4.  Obviously with the new rookie card rules put into place in 2006 you cannot have minor league players yet to make their major league debut in the base set.  So here is what I propose:

Bowman series 1:  Released sometime between mid-May and mid-June.
200 card base set including 40 to 50 rookies with a 100 card prospects set.

Bowman series 2:  Releases sometime between mid-October and mid-November
200 card base set including 40 to 50 rookies with a 100 card prospects set.

Bowman Chrome:  Releases sometime in late November to mid-December
200 card base set including about 40 to 50 of the best rookies from the previous 2 regular Bowman series.  There is a 100 card prospects set that chromes the 100 best prospect cards from the previous 2 Bowman Prospect sets.

So for the year:
Bowman series 1 and 2 totals 400 base cards with 200 prospects: 600 cards total
Bowman Chrome totals 200 base cards with 100 prospects: 300 cards total

5. The most radical thought would be to not photoshop any more jerseys on cards.  Since Topps has a license to show Minor League logos, they should show them on the prospect cards.  That way from year to year, if a prospect is still working his way up in the minors, he could be shown in a different affiliate's uniform.

Hypothetically Manny Machado could be shown in a Frederick Keys uniform in 2012 Bowman Prospects.  In 2013 Bowman Prospects he could be shown in a Bowie Baysox or Norfolk Tides jersey.  In 2014 when the takes the Majors by storm(!) he could make his Bowman Debut in an Orioles jersey.

I think that there could still be a Pro Debut set made by Topps, but they should use different pictures.  The new draft rules should help Topps get photographers to the minor league parks to take pictures of the new draft picks before the minor league season ends.

6. Don't over do it with the insert sets.  2 or 3 is probably enough and don't make them 100 or 50 cards.  Bring some sort off excitement back to insert cards by making them a little more rare and not 1 per pack.

7.  Get rid of the Bowman gold parallel.  It's kind of pointless. Keep the #'d Blue borders and make them #'d to 100.  Also keep the Bowman International parallels and # them to 250.

8.  The Bowman Chrome refractors could use a little tweaking.  Don't change anything there other than limiting the regular refractors to like 500, blues to 250, gold to 100, orange to 50, reds to 25 and superfractor 1/1s.

9.. The Bowman Chrome Autographs also needs a few tweaks. Put one Rookie auto and one Prospect auto per box.  Limit the print run on the regular autos to 1000, refractors to 500, blues to 250, gold to 100, orange to 50, red to 25, and superfractor 1/1's.

10. Bowman will have to add regular autographed rookies and regular prospect autographs.  1 of each per box.  Regular autographs #'d to 1000, International to 250, Blues to 100, and Platinum 1/1's.

Anybody else have any other suggestions?

Hopefully, Topps reads this post and steals all of my ideas and makes eleventy billion dollars off of it.


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  2. Thanks "william smith" for your wonderful commentary on my post. I really like how it has nothing to do with the subject matter and the shameless lug for your "Campervan" is top-notch. I really hope that you make a million bucks from posting spam on other blogs. GOOD LUCK in the Future!

    Now, does anybody else have anything intelligent to add to my post?

  3. Wow! A campervan in Australia is the perfect place for me to store my cards!

    In all seriousness, I like your ideas as much as mine. I didn't think too much beyond the set's basic composition. I do think Chrome should just be a straight parallel (it makes checklist and player-rainbow building much less complicated). It's like Chrome Heritage being in Heritage and Chrome - I'd rather it just be a straight parallel in Heritage.

    I wonder if Topps can't use minor league logos on major league products (including Bowman) even with both licenses. I'd rather see the minor league logos. In fact, I'd rather see Topps split Bowman into a major league release (one series, 330 cards, Chrome parallels, etc), and two Prospects series (220 cards each). Or dump the veterans all together.

    It's funny how many collectors hate Bowman. But we still buy it, mainly for our favorite team or players. I think if they made a new, unique design every year (like they did in the '90s) and simplify the release a bit, they might get more set collectors involved.