More from 1999 Bowman

16 02 2009

These are two of the more striking photos from the box I opened recently:

Chip Ambres was the 27th overall selection in the 1998 draft and given a 1.5 million dollar signing bonus by the Marlins.  He’s totaled 189 ABs over three different seasons for three different teams since.  He recently signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox.

Eric Valent was the 42nd pick of the ’98 draft after not signing with the Tigers following the ’95 draft.  He was a little more successful than Ambres, seeing 406 plate appearances over 5 seasons, including 42 at bats with the Reds in 2003.  I don’t recall any of them.  In 2004 the Mets took him in the Rule V draft and he hit .263 with 13 HRs in response.  2005 wasn’t as successful, and Valent now serves as a scout for the Phillies.

The point?  Oh yes, the cards.  The coolness of the cards is directly impacted by the posed nature of them.  Were these in game photos, the cards would achieve a certain level of greatness despite the common nature of the players depicted.  Instead they just look goofy due to their meticulous staging.  Even stranger is Topps’ choice of players to pose in relation to Ambres’ and Valent’s position in the draft.  Why didn’t Topps do this with Corey Patterson (taken 3rd) and J.D. Drew (taken 5th)?  Why do all this for the 27th and 42nd picks instead?

Just think, though, that if Ambres or Valent had gone on to have a Griffey like career rather then the stories that unfolded above, these would then be iconic cards and tip back from goofy to cool because of it.  That’s the fickle nature of baseball card photos.

The other 1999 Bowman news here is that my series 1 wantlist has finally be added.  If you can help, let me know and we’ll work something out.  I’ve got a great Kenny Lofton Late Bloomers card for trade if you’re interested.




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