What Bowman Is Good For

Well, I think it’s safe to say that I missed the boat on Bowman-mania this year.  And last year. And the year before. And….

No, I didn’t buy a single pack, and I’m certainly not going to spend extra money on packs that are priced above normal MSRP.  I’ve never been the prospecting type and it’s really hard for me to understand that mentality.  In all honesty, I can only think of one player where it’s worked out in the long run – Mike Trout.  “Long run” is subjective in that case, of course, and there’s still plenty of time for the sky to fall. He’s the closest I’ve seen to a sure thing in a long time.

Anyway, while thousands of people are trying to chase and flip and buy up the next big thing so they can brag about how much money they made and how their prospecting skills are amazing, I will bide my time and fill my collection with all the cheap runoffs.

Chrome isn’t always king

He may not have been Miguel or Adrian, but John Lackey was still a major league pitcher with a long career.  That wasn’t enough to stop his card from being worth next to nothing years later.

Shiny Wood

High-end Bowman. There’s no way this can go wrong.  Well, I guess having this be a “rookie” card instead of a prospect means it’s doomed to failure.  Rookies are old, hot garbage.

Pay extra for the beard

Here you go.  The very first Bowman card of a hot prospect turned eventual Cy Young winner with no-hitters on his resume.  If Vlad Jr. is worth X, then Jake must be worth multiple Xs by now.  Less than 50 cents?  Oh….

Maybe there’s a beard there

Maybe having a second Bowman chrome card in the same year reduced that value.  One is from the normal Bowman thing and one is from Draft Picks and Prospects. It doesn’t matter which is which. They both are cheap.

Too many Bowmans

A couple years later and here’s the dreaded Rookie Card again.  Pathetic waste of everyone’s time. The only thing worse is a non-rookie major leaguer. Who wants established players when you can have maybe players?

No idea what this was worth back then, but now it’s about a quarter.

I mean, why even make cards that aren’t going to turn a profit for me personally?

Refractors don’t mean much at all either if the player isn’t the top .1%

The recent years have of course become even more saturated with all the various parallels and whatnot. Of course, they’re not really printing to demand of the main cards. They are printing to the demand of those chasing the massive hits, meaning there is a lot of overproduction of the more basic stuff.

Changing teams doesn’t help either

Now, some people would say that it’s obvious that these aren’t worth anything, because they aren’t graded.  If you’re going to prospect, you need to have protected prospects. I have yet to delve into the world of slabbed cards. I would be more inclined if I dealt with vintage, but there are only a few modern cards that I would look to buy slabbed just for authenticity sake.  A Rizzo Bowman RC is not one of those. His time has passed.

Not even El Mago is immune

MVP Runner-Up Javier Baez must be worth a little something?  Well, $3 shipped on ebay counts, I guess. Or $1 on Sportlots.  Or you can wait a few years and it will drop in price even farther when it turns out he’s not a perennial MVP candidate like Mike Trout.

You may have noticed I didn’t show any Kris Bryant cards in this post and that’s true.  Some people are slower to drop down than others, but give it time. It almost always works that way.

My takeaway? Take the money now before they hit the majors, or shortly after the call-up. Otherwise, I’ll be taking them away years later as part of my goal to collect all of the 2028 Cubs World Series championship team.

2 comments to What Bowman Is Good For

  • sanjosefuji

    Never been a prospect collector… but I did start the year off tracking a couple of A’s prospects. They’ve all sucked… which means I’m no longer interested 😉

    • Jon

      It can be fun to say you were a fan before everyone knew, but it’s certainly almost always best to save your money until after they’ve made the majors (or flamed out completely).

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