A Bowman Box break

24 05 2010

So as not to feel left out, I thought I’d bust a box of Bowman.  I’ll tell you right now that my box has no Strasburg, and that’s because it’s a 1999 Series 2 box.  That would be an awesome pull from a box that’s eleven years old , though, wouldn’t it?

1999 Bowman series 2 is a 220 card affair with 70 veterans and 150 rookie/prospect cards.  Most of the veterans I pulled were your usual suspects (Griffey, Piazza, etc), and then there was this guy, too:My first thought was, “Justin Thompson?  Really?”  I’d never heard of the guy.  Then I read more about him, and I can see why he was included.  His season in 1997 was one of the best by a Tiger pitcher:  3.02 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 155 strikeouts over the course of 223 innings.  It lead to a 15-11 record and an All Star appearance.  The following year he pitched another 222 innings and would suffer arm injuries the following season.  Even Dusty Baker would have to admit that 545 innings in 2 years is probably over using a 26-year-old pitcher.

Gookie!

One of the best things about old boxes of cards is remembering players you’d forgotten or tried to forget about from years gone by.  Travis “Gookie” Dawkins is one of the former.  I’m not sure how you root against a guy nicknamed Gookie.

The Reds (and their fans, for that matter) had high hopes for Gookie after they took him in the second round of the 1997 draft.  Gookie made his major league debut two years later in 1999.  He had eight plate appearances and struck out in four of them while garnering a single hit.  The following year Gookie would win a gold medal in the Olympics and show some signs of improvement at the big league dish as well, but still hit a modest .220.  By 2002 and any signs of success were gone, and his major league career would end with three games in Kansas City in 2003.

Since then Gookie has been a minor league journeyman who was last seen in the Marlins organization in 2009.
The Seattle Times had a nice article on him back in 2007 if you need to catch up on more Gookie related pursuits. Two years later Gookie would make baseball news by testing positive for drugs and being suspended for 50 games. I had no idea the guy was around for as long as he was.

Speaking of failed prospects, Corey Patterson’s RC is in the set.  Every Reds fan will want one of these based on his 2008 performance, and I was lucky enough to get one in my box.

I blame Corey for the black hole of talent that the Reds CF position has become.  Since Patterson’s struggles with Mendoza, we’ve had Willy Taveras’ struggles in 2009 and his close to record setting 0-fer streak, and this year rookie Drew Stubbs is striking out at a 1:3 AB pace.  Luckily Drew still flashes the leather and when he does manage to get on base he can run like a gazelle, but it’s only a matter of time before the fans turn on the guy and the Corey curse claims another victim.  If I were Stubbs, I’d be asking to sacrifice a live chicken right now.

Meanwhile Corey has gotten off to a fast start with the Orioles this year, so maybe all the faith that Dusty put in him two years ago will finally pay off for another team.  I just won’t believe it until he finishes a season they way he began it.


I told my wife as we began to open the box that one of the cards I was hoping for was Adam Dunn, since he was one of my favorite Reds and all.  It wasn’t until the last pack of the box that she opened that he finally showed his face.  I imagine that the three bats represent the three true outcomes of his plate appearances.  Also tucked away in that pack…

Josh Hamilton, one of the “big three” from the set along with Alfonso Soriano and Matt Holiday. This set is crazy loaded with rookie cards, and the biggest name I missed is Carl Crawford.  Otherwise, I think I ran the board on the big name “stars” of the set.
Here’s one of the inserts of the set that I guess celebrated players who woke up early on game days.  I included the back so you could enjoy the Superman references in the same wtf manner that I did.   I pulled two of these, but the second one did not try as hard to be cool as this one.  Troll, if you are out there and want this one, let me know.

I was surprised at how nice these cards looked, and I pulled the best of the bunch in Burrell.  My second card I have already forgotten because it wasn’t anywhere near Pat the Bat.  This insert set obviously featured players that Topps felt  could win the Rookie of the Year award.  Actual winners Rafael Furcal and Kazuhiro Sasaki, were not featured in the set at all.  Go figure.

I also pulled my full allotment of Bowman International inserts (one a pack), and ended up with 203 cards from the set, 5 damaged cards, and 3 duplicates that are available for trade.  Couple this box with the assortment of cards I already owned, and I’m a  mere 12 cards away from series 2 completion.  My 1999 Bowman wantlist is updated, and if you can help me out let me know.

And finally, out of one of the first packs that my wife opened up was this…

…  a blue ink auto seeded 1:85 packs.

Scott Randall was an 11th round pick in the 1995 draft, so I’m not sure much was expected from him.  Even though he’s pictured here with the Rockies, he played his entire career with the Reds.  That career spanned lasted part of the 2003 season during which he sported a 6.51 ERA in 23 2/3 innings.  He would be released by the Reds at the end of the season.

It also appears that Randall sponsors his own Baseball Reference page with the phrase, “Should have gone to Sienna.”  I have no idea what that means, so I can only hope Randall finds this page some day and explains it in the comments section.

All in all, a fun break, even without the Randall, simply for nostalgia purposes alone.  I know I got mine pretty cheap, but bought last year and cannot remember the circumstances behind it, so you’ll have to set your price and keep your eyes peeled.  They’re out there somewhere

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