1999 Bowman Series 1 hobby box break

15 02 2009

Back in 1999, I was living in a crappy apartment in Columbus, Ohio and surviving mostly on Tony’s pizzas and 40’s of malt liquor. It was quite a glamorous lifestyle that left me little time for baseball and trading cards.

By 2000, I was living a more respectable lifestyle and paid a little more attention to the major leagues, and in a few more years I was playing fantasy baseball and trying to follow every young player that had a shot at stardom. To be honest, that’s one of the only reasons I recognized some of the rookies in my box of 1999 Bowman. You know, rookies like Choo Freeman:

I feel like I should put a black bar over that bat or wrap the card in opaque plastic and sell it at a truck stop. I guess I should have warned you sooner.

Anyhow, this set is actually littered with my fantasy carnage. Jason Grilli, Russ Branyan, Tony Armas Jr, Matt LeCroy, and even the star of the box, Ben Grieve were all one time members of a fantasy keeper team I once ran. That team is thankfully no more, although I did carry Armas Jr on my current keeper team for far too long, mostly for nostalgia sake.

But that’s the whole thrill of opening a box like this – nostalgia. It’s filled with names like Mike Nannini, Justin Bowles, Arturo McDowell, Scott Hunter, Mamon Tucker, and Keith Luuloa – names I had never heard before but I can imagine filled both fans and collectors with great hope.

Here’s the guy that would have met those requirements for me:


Kearns, along with series two star Adam Dunn were meant to lead the Reds back to the playoffs. Kearns shone in 2002, hitting over .300 with double digit HRs. However, injuries have plagued his career since, and Kearns fans now talk more about what might have been that what actually became.

At the start of the box, I told my wife that the two cards we were looking for were of Kearns and Pat the bat. She proceeded to pull both of them out of her first pack. Kinda took the drama out of the rest of the box since I’d already given up on the oddly numbered and hard to pull autograph cards. I wasn’t familiar enough with the other inserts we eventually found.


I think the Scouts’ Choice inserts are the nicest looking cards I’ve seen in quite a while. A whole 440 card set of these would make me drool. They are seeded 1:12, and I did pretty well with these pulling both Burrell and Roy Halladay. Gorgeous.


These on the other hand are awful. They remind me of those blacklight posters that hung on the walls of those houses that always smelled funny back in college, only brighter and less odorous.

Late Bloomers are seeded 1:12 and Mike Piazza is the big draw here which should tell you about the star power of the checklist.

For boxes like these it’s hard to tell if how someone else would react to them. There’s nothing here to generate a lot of wow factor, evident by the fact my favorite card pulled was of Barry Larkin. I miss the days when the Reds were still good.

Had I been more familiar with more players, I would have enjoyed this box even more. I’d recommend ’99 Bowman over, say, a random blaster of Upper Deck X or Timeline without question. And if you’re wistful for the days of Griffey the Mariner or a baseball team in Montreal, I think you could do a whole lot worse then a cheap box of these, though.

The box:

Base:  198 out of 220 (90%), plus 14 damaged cards

Bowman International (1:1): 17, plus 7 damaged

Late Bloomers(1:12):  2 – Kenny Lofton, Trevor Hoffman

Scout’s Choice(1:12): 2 – Pat Burrell, Roy Halladay




3 responses

15 02 2009

If you’re willing to part with any or all of the Cardinals you pulled, I’m pretty sure I don’t have a single card from that set. I should have some stuff from your want list (80-present baseball) to send in return.

16 02 2009
Dinged Corners

Wait a minute. Malt liquor? 🙂

The Kenny Lofton may be the nuttiest looking card ever. Cool!

18 02 2009

Sweet pull on the Kearns.

Even Dead Heads would have trouble looking at that Lofton.

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