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2013 Bowman Baseball marks the brand's 65th anniversary. For several years Bowman went head-to-head with Topps as the primary baseball card producers. However, Bowman disappeared in mid-50s after the company was bought out by its competitor. After a lull of more than three decades, Topps brought Bowman back in 1989 and positioned the brand as a rookie and prospecting brand. Bowman has continued to evolve, but that's largely where it remains today.
2013 Bowman Baseball sticks largely with the same format as the past few years. It continues to mix both Bowman and Bowman Chrome cards, focusing primarily on the game's youngsters. Hobby boxes once again promise one autograph.
The 2013 Bowman Baseball base set mixes veterans and rookies who appeared late in the 2012 season. Rookie cards include Manny Machado, Dylan Bundy and Jurickson Profar. Similar to the International parallels from past years come State and Home Town parallels. Bordered base set parallels include Gold, Blue (#/500), Orange (#/250) and hobby-exclusive Red (1/1). Silver Ice parallels return, falling one per box and two per jumbo box. Red Ice (#/25), Purple Ice (#/10) and White Ice (1/1) parallels are also part of the mix.
Similar to last year, the set also has a handful of Bowman Chrome Autographed Rookie Cards. Signers include Bundy, Tyler Skaggs and Darin Ruf. Each autograph also has a handful of numbered Refractor parallels.
As the way it has been since the rules for rookie cards changed starting in 2006, much of the attention for 2013 Bowman Baseball comes from the Prospects inserts. All 110 cards come with the same bordered and Ice parallels as the base set. Two Bowman Prospects cards are in every hobby pack.
All 110 Prospects cards also have Bowman Chrome versions that also fall two per hobby pack. Each has six Refractor parallels: Refractor (#/500), Blue Refractor (#/250), Gold Refractor (#/50), Orange Refractor (#/25), Red Refractor (#/5) and Superfractor (1/1).
Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs return and are exclusive to hobby and jumbo packs. Among the signers are Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, Lucas Giolito and Christian Bethancourt. Each has the same Refractors as the regular Bowman Chrome Prospect cards except Blue Refractors are limited to 150, not 250. Jumbo boxes also have random Purple Refractors (#/10) and Autographed Printing Plates. Autographs fall one per hobby box and three per jumbo box.
Bowman Top 100 Prospects is a new insert that digs deep through baseball's farm systems. Parallels include Die-Cut Refractors (#/99), Autographed Die-Cut X-Fractors (#/24) and hobby-only Autographed Die-Cut Atomic Refractors (1/1).
Another new insert set is Cream of the Crop Chrome Mini Refractor cards. The 150-card checklist consists of every team's top five prospects. Blue (#/250), Red (#/5) and Superfractor (1/1) parallels are also available.
In honor on Bowman's landmark anniversary comes the cross-brand Blue Sapphire Refractor set. Each card reprints a player's first Bowman card with a colorful border.
Bowman Black Autographs return for a second year. The cross-brand set features bold autographs on dark backdrops. 2013 Bowman Baseball has 25 more cards, each numbered to 25. Bowman Black Autographs can only be found in hobby packs.
Dual Franchise Refractor Autographs pair signatures from two top prospects playing for the same team. Each is numbered to 25 or less. Ultimate Prospect Autographs (#/5) squeezes up to 25 signatures on a single card. AFLAC/Perfect Game High School All-American and Under Armor All-American Game Autographs return with early autographs from many of the country's top prospects.
Future Game Relics come with jersey swatches from the 2012 All-Star Futures Game. Each card is numbered to 25.
Building off a program that debuted in 2012 Bowman Baseball are Lucky 5 Redemptions. Each of the five different cards are good for an exclusive bonus card.
2013 Bowman Baseball has a few additional bonuses. Random boxes have Oversized 1948 Autographed Bowman Cards that are numbered to 20. The Bowman Golden Debut Contract program returns. Each contract guarantees the recipient an autographed baseball. One person will get their own card in 2014 Bowman Baseball.
The Bowman Prospect Challenge continues. Online code cards unlock players that can be used to compete for autographs and other exclusive cards.
Estimated Release Date: 5/3/13 Product Configuration: 24 packs per box, 10 cards per pack (hobby), 12 packs per box, 34 cards per pack (HTA jumbo) Price Point: Low-End Baseball Card Target Audience: Prospectors, Set Builders, Autograph Collectors
2013 Bowman Baseball Hobby Box Break 1 Autograph 1 Silver Ice Parallel 240 Total Cards
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