And it looks like Topps has figured out a way to give a prospect a rookie card — just issue a card of Reds pitcher William Theron “Rookie” Davis.
The 2017 Bowman set contains 100 base cards and 150 paper prospects, with an additional 150 chrome prospects that mirror (that’s a great word for these shiny cards), the “regular” prospect cards. A hobby box contains 24 packs, with 10 cards to a pack. Topps is promising one autograph card per hobby box.
The base set opens with Kris Bryant at No. 1 and Mike Trout at No. 100. The hobby box I opened had all 100 base cards, a silver parallel of Jameson Taillon numbered to 499, and four duplicates. There were 71 prospect cards, and 47 chrome prospect cards — including a refractor of Athletics prospect Lazarito Armenteros, numbered to 499. In addition to silver parallels, the base and paper prospects also have parallels in purple, blue, gold, a hobby-exclusive orange (numbered to 25), red (5) and 1/1 black borders.
The one autograph in the hobby box I sampled was an on-card gold parallel signature card of Red Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada, numbered to 50. Moncada also appears in this box in a 1951 Bowman insert. This is a marvelous-looking card; the design and the shine are just right for this 19-card insert set. The 1948 set, Bowman’s debut that featured 48 black-and-white cards, is reprised in shiny fashion with a 10-card set. I pulled a Mike Trout card with the 1948 design.
Another Bowman reprise is the 1992 set, which contains 20 cards. There were two in the hobby box I opened — Ken Griffey Jr. and Braves prospect Sean Newcomb.
As an added bonus, Topps is also including buyback cards, stamped with a foil “70” with the Bowman logo located inside the zero. I had two of these cards, and both were from the 1993 set.
The 2017 Bowman set has a smart-looking design and a clean look. The inserts are intriguing and will evoke nostalgia among older collectors. I liked the fact that I was able to put together a complete base set, and while the prospects are only about halfway finished, it’s not a bad challenge to collect them all.