April 30, 2017

First Sampling of 2017 Bowman, More Like WOW-man

I must admit, I've gotten a bit spoiled with finding new releases either a few days early or at least on release day. It's been a busy few weeks between my daughter's spring break and an unexpected increase in responsibilities at the office so I haven't written in a while. However, I have still been active in the hobby(which you'll likely be able to read about in the coming days/weeks). I was eagerly anticipating the release of Bowman this week. After a few exceptionally long days at the office on Monday and Tuesday, I stopped at the local Target on the way home Tuesday evening. The shelves were unexpectedly bare. Dejected, I went home empty handed. The rest of the week was quite a whirlwind. Fast forward to Friday afternoon. After meeting the school bus to pick up my oldest after school, my three girls and I loaded into the car and headed to one of our local Walmart to do some grocery shopping(don't judge, it's the closest option to our house for groceries). I am usually underwhelmed by the card selection at this store, so I didn't go in with high hopes. As usual, I did have to have a look at the card aisle when we arrived. Much to my surprise, I found some cardboard worth taking home.

I know, I know. This is not Bowman. Since I'm still trying to piece this set together, I couldn't pass up a few discounted value packs though. I'll write more about these at a later date. A few pegs over from these 'clearance' packs, I found 'value packs' of Bowman. I snagged one, especially happy that the 'bonus' pack of retail-only, yellow parallels contained 5 cards instead of the 3 that I would have gotten if I had found the pack at Target.

There it is in all its glory. Once I got home, got the car unpacked, and started cooking dinner, I quickly ripped into the pack.

Well, that looks like a good start! Senzel is one of the bigger names in the product and seeing his yellow parallel gracing the front of the 'bonus' pack set the tone for this value pack.

There is the first card of my first Bowman pack of 2017. Don't worry, I didn't scan each card, I was just trying to stretch the enjoyment of my first pack ripping experience over the past few weeks. Overall, I like the design of this year's set pretty well. It's (mostly) clean with the exception of this extraneous pseudo-explosion design surrounding the team logo and a faint, white 'right angle' design behind the Bowman logo. Neither of these unnecessary design elements bothers me enough to take away from my enjoyment of the set. The first pack was solid, with a few decent vets(Harper and Posey) but no prospects I recognized in either paper or chrome form.

Seemingly random side note - I am not big on the idea of recording my pack breaks. This is mostly due to the fact that I absolutely cannot stand listening to my own voice on a recording. However, after I ripped into the final two packs here, I wished I had recorded this break simply for believability purposes. Okay, back to where I left off...

After cracking the three packs, I decided not to specify highlights of each pack, but rather highlights of each subset included. Here are three of the paper prospects that I've heard/read about. I didn't scan any vets/rookies, though I did OK there as well. I was lucky enough to pull Trout, and rookies of Glasnow, Renfroe, and Alfaro.

Up next, the contents of the yellow parallel pack. Senzel was definitely the best of the bunch, but I figured he would be. It was great to pull a Chrome version of Clint Frazier. It's my first card showing him as a Yankee prospect and with any luck, it will end up with an IP auto a bit later this season when the Railriders come to Durham. Here's where the unbelievability comes into play.

Smack in the middle of the second pack was that green Chrome auto which is #/99 and only found in retail product. So right there, I figured the value pack way exceeded expectations. Then, right in the middle of the third pack I flip to that paper auto(also retail exclusive). Of course, I have no idea who either of these guys are, but to pull 2 autos out of a retail value pack was incredible to me. Apparently, good things come to those who wait(even if the wait wasn't by choice).

Not-so-random side note - in my recent absence from writing I have spent a lot of time interacting within several Facebook-based collecting groups. Assuming the break posts that I've seen(GQ and Bowman) are truthful, Walmart retail packs and blasters have been yielding some incredible hits in relation to their Target counterparts. I realize this correlation is about as far as you can get from scientific data, but if you have the itch to bust some retail product, perhaps it's worth exploring for yourself. At the very least, you'll walk away with 2 more parallels than you would otherwise. I can certainly say that I'll be on the lookout for another value pack or two during my next trip to Walmart(sorry Target, I still love you though). Thanks for reading.