Friday, July 8, 2016

The Thin Red Line: 2010 Bowman and Bowman Chrome


In terms of Bowman sets from this year, Griffey only appeared in two: Bowman flagship and Chrome. The other Bowman sets, Platinum, Sterling, and Picks & Prospects, included no Griffeys at all; and between the regular and Chrome sets he only made it onto one insert – the rest is base cards and their parallels. So while I usually cover one set per post, today we’re going to squeeze out a two-plunker with 2010 Bowman and 2010 Bowman Chrome.

2010 Bowman #40

While many suspected this would be Junior’s last season, nobody knew for sure. That being said, the Kid’s final Bowman card is light years better than his Topps flagship base card. The Topps photo is kind of far-away, taken at a funny angle, and doesn’t really capture the character of the Kid; but this Bowman card is bright, fun, and joyful. It wasn’t his first season back in Seattle, but he just looks so happy to be wearing that uniform again. It’s a sunset card I can live with.

He would retire suddenly a few months after this photo was taken, but for now he's right at home.

Design-wise I like how simple this year’s sets were. Bowman kept with the now-retired color-coded borders (I believe it was red for veterans, blue for rookies, and green for prospects) that began back in the 90’s. It’s arguably the simplest design we've seen from them this century, and it works. Strong blurb, too. The word "selective" was an interesting choice.

Here's a bunch of parallels:

2010 Bowman #40 Gold

2010 Bowman #40 Blue #/520

2010 Bowman #40 Orange #/250

Bowman loves colored parallels as you probably know. While I am technically missing the red 1/1 and the printing plates, I don’t count 1/1’s among the gettable cards for this set. For our purposes, my 2010 Bowman flagship Griffey set is complete.

2010 Bowman 1992 Bowman Throwbacks #BT62

This is the only Bowman insert Junior made an appearance in this year, and it’s pretty damn awesome. Everyone loves the cringeworthy ‘90’s fashion show that was the 1992 Bowman rookie roundup. Personally I’d have waited for 2012 when the set was 20 years old, but for some reason they did it at 18 years. Regardless it looks great, and they absolutely nailed the back. Love that portrait. A very cool tribute to one of the best Bowman sets ever made.

I know what you’re thinking: how would those base cards look if they were shinier with a permanent bend?

2010 Bowman Chrome #155

Design-wise Bowman Chrome is exactly like regular Bowman with a different photo, specifically another awkwardly-angled swing away photo much like the Topps base card. It appears to be an homage to Junior's sweet swing. It’s not a bad card, but it’s not a great one, either.

All the 2010 Bowman Chrome cards had a permanent bend or “bowing” which you’ve probably seen if you’ve ever stacked 2010 Bowman Chrome cards together with other cards in a long box. There’s nothing you can really do about it, either. Just consider it part of the charm of this set.

Here's the refractor which I imagine looks pretty cool in those colored parallels:

2010 Bowman Chrome #155 Refractor

One thing I’d really like to have seen is a Chrome version of the 1992 Throwback insert. With all the white in the original design they would have been super shiny, not to mention the refractors. Oh, well - missed opportunity.

Here are the Griffeys I need from 2010 Bowman and Bowman Chrome:

2010 Bowman #40 Red 1/1
2010 Bowman #40 Printing Plate (four 1/1’s)
2010 Bowman Chrome #155 Blue #/150
2010 Bowman Chrome #155 Gold #/50
2010 Bowman Chrome #155 Orange #/25
2010 Bowman Chrome #155 Red #/5
2010 Bowman Chrome #155 Superfractor 1/1
2010 Bowman Chrome #155 Printing Plate (four 1/1’s)

I included the 1/1’s but I have no plans to ever own them. Maybe a colored refractor or two will find its way here someday.

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