Two random packs: 2011 Bowman

19 05 2011

I was just reading my preliminary thoughts post on 2011 Bowman, and how I probably wouldn’t buy any of it, the design was boring, complain, complain, complain. So what did I do when I heard Bowman might be out in stores now? Went out right after work to see what I could find. Six blasters, fifteen rack packs, and a bunch of retail packs as well. That’s not what I bought, though I’ve seen people on message boards who have.

I picked out a blaster and two of the rack packs. Or value packs. Whatever they call those things nowadays.  I looked at it as a reward for my first week’s return to the night shift at work.  So these were bought at six AM yesterday.  I may stop by after work again in the morning to see how much is left.  If it’s anything like 2010, most of it should be gone.

Let me say I was surprised at my own excitement for this stuff.  I did not expect to see a Bryce Harper, but I was secretly pulling for one as I opened to the two rack packs.  What did I find?

While I thought I’d be bored with the base cards,  I actually kinda like them.  I’ll be honest I’ve been enjoying the heck out of just about everything lately, and Bowman is the latest product to bask in the glow of my collecting renaissance.  How can you dislike pictures of baseball players on cardboard?

Surround them in ugly gold.  That might do it.

I don’t hate these, but the border color feels a little off on these one per pack parallels.  Not pretty.  I’m pleased that one of the guys I pulled was someone I actually like in Brandon Beachy.  Too bad Beachy is on the DL with a pulled muscle from swinging a bat.  I suppose that’s an argument for the DH system, but not one that I would want to make.  I actually prefer to argue that DHs should instead learn how to pitch.

Woo hoo!  Green bordered parallel numbered 121/450.  At least it is a prospect of sorts and not someone like Denard Span.  Wait, I pulled one of those, too?  Oh well.

This is where Bowman fails me, or rather I fail Bowman.  I have no idea who Ronnie Welty is.  Is this some Welty-jo?!?  Should I be excited about this guy?  Thankfully, there’s Google.  Here’s what I now know about Ronnie Welty.

1) He’s ranked 45th prospect on the Orioles Nation site, with a lot of “needs to improves.”
2) He’s currently batting 238/329/446 in AA Bowie, which needs to improve.
3) He strikes out. A lot.  That needs to improve.

So I’m going to say that unless I’m a Ronnie Welty super collector (or one of my readers is), this is nothing to get excited about.  Deflated-jo.   Oh well.

I’ve read people’s feelings about Bowman International and while there are things I do not like about the set, I actually kind of (gasp) like this card.  I’m not sure that Bowman needs more parallels for one thing.  I’d much rather see these replace the gold one-a-pack parallels, or see these as an insert set numbered differently.  I’ll have to see a few more of these before I make a finally judgement, though.

And that’s Kevin Youkilis, in case you can’t tell.  He and I both hail from the Buckeye state where legislators want you to be able to carry a gun into a bar.  Great idea, and the next time I’m in the old neighborhood I hope to invite Kevin out for a night of Colt 45’s and, well, Colt 45’s.  Maybe we’ll do some shots and some shots.  Okay, I’m out.

Now, I did not pull any cards of the next big thing, but I did hit this:

I’ve actually heard of Zack Wheeler before, and it wasn’t in a news story that featured the phrase “suspended for 50 games,” so I think he’s got some sort of talent.  He was the 6th overall pick in 2009 and is ranked as the 55th best prospect in the nation according to Baseball America this year.  He’s putting up decent numbers in A+ ball with a high strikeout rate, and I will now follow his career as I do for last years auto hit, Brett Morel.

For those curious, here’s the odds from these packs:

Pulling a Harper auto from these things is next to impossible, obviously.  I’m not sure there were 2800 packs of cards where I bought, and that includes the massive numbers of 2011 Topps stuff that’s still sitting on the shelves.  I believe the blaster and the retail pack odds are even longer.

I’ve been reading breaks of Bowman on message boards for the last few days, and it seems the general consensus is that these are the way to go.  I almost put the blaster I grabbed back for four more of these instead, and I’ll certainly be buying more of these if I decide that my Bowman itch isn’t fully scratched when it’s done.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I actually am liking 2011 Bowman.  Live up the chase now, kids, because next year’s Bowman will be pretty pedestrian compared with this year’s and last year’s affair.

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