It’s late April, the baseball season is underway, and that means one thing. The Bowman baseball set is ready to go, and collectors are anxious to get their hands on it! The 2018 set continues the tradition of primarily focusing on prospects. However, veterans and rookies also drive some demand, especially this year with Shohei Ohtani mania sweeping the hobby. Hobby box and Hobby Jumbo box prices are through the roof due to the chase of the first chrome autographs of many of these prospects, but set collectors may find more value opening retail packs.
Base Veterans and Rookies Set
The paper base set contains 100 of the seasons top veterans and rookies. No base chrome cards exist for these cards numbered 1-100. Ohtani is card #49 and is the primary chase of the veteran and rookie set, but Rhys Hoskins, Rafael Devers, Victor Robles, Miguel Anduajr and Ozzie Albies are a few of the rookies who can also be found in the set. Nine different colored parallels can be found in both hobby and retail offerings, all carrying vary levels of serial numbered scarcity.
The 150 card prospect set adds a BP prefix to the card number and runs BP1-BP150. The chrome version is BCP1-BCP150. Atlanta Braves prospect Ronald Acuna gets the honor of being the first card in the set, and it is filled with dozens of additional prospects, many of which will likely make their MLB debuts sometime during the 2018 season.
Seven different inserts can be found which bring quite a challenge in completing a full master set of base and inserts. The traditional Bowman Top Prospects set contains 100 of baseball’s, well, Top Prospects. The Talent Pipeline and ROY Favorites are back again as well. Bowman Sterling used to be a stand alone set, but makes a return this year as a fairly hard to pull insert. They should fall about one per hobby box. The Trending, Big League Breakthrough, and Birthdays are new to this years release and add design variety to the mix, even if the player focus of those sets is primarily the same as the base set. Primarily the same is key here. Examine the checklists closely, as there are some players who have an insert, but not a base card. Kyle Schwarber and his Birthday’s insert is the first I noticed!
Autographs are the primary chase element for Bowman each year and can be found on both base cards as well as many of the insert sets. Hobby boxes guarantee one per box, and Hobby Jumbo boxes include three per box. Autos can be found in retail products as well, but at a much more random insertion rate. There is no retail product package that guarantees an auto.
Once again, allocation issues kept me from receiving the Hobby Jumbo Case I ordered so I decided to pick up a couple blasters to get my fix. Check out the results below!
I didn’t end up with any autographs, but I did pull two Ohtani’s which in of themselves cover about half the cost of the blasters. One of them will go in the PC, and the other was actually sold in less than 10 minutes on ebay. Check out the going rates for Ohtani, it’s kind of crazy in my opinion.
I pulled several of the prospect cards I was looking for. Ronald Acuna, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, and Luis Robert all made an appearance. I pulled several other White Sox and Cardinal players who will make their way into my show box. The big money is in the autographs, but I just can’t justify the price of hobby boxes at this point. As a set collector, I will most likely just pick up a complete set on eBay, or if I get the itch I may buy some more retail. I mean when you can buy 8 retail blasters for the price of one hobby box, it kind of seems like a no brainer for set collectors.
Well what do you think? Are you going to bust some Bowman? Just pick up a complete set or singles of your favorite players?
Let me know in the comments below.
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