Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Bowman Inception baseball to debut in June
Posted Jan 9, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 09:43 PM
If collecting high-end cards of rookies and prospects interest you, then the debut of Bowman Inception baseball will be a big event.
Inception has been a football-only brand the last few years, but Topps has decided to include a similar product for baseball. This product has a June 19, 2013, release date, and a hobby box will contain one pack, with five cards to a pack.
Each pack will contain four autograph cards and one autographed relic card.
And when a collector mentions Bowman cards, prospects and rookies are at the forefront. Will collectors shell out big money for cards of players who are potential big-leaguers, knowing that a high percentage of them may never spend time on the major-league roster?
That remains to be seen. The cards certainly are attractive.
Prospect autograph cards will include eight parallel versions: gold, numbered to 99; blue (75), orange (50), green (25), red (10), purple (5), Inception (1/1) and framed printing plates (also 1/1).
This set also will include inscription autos numbered to 10.
Rookie autographs also will have parallels, with the same colors and numbering as the prospect parallels.
The Silver Signings cards look to be one of the sharper-looking cards in the set. Cards will feature a black background, and the player’s on-card signature will be in silver. There also will be a gold ink version that should look even nicer. That card will be numbered to five.
For team collectors, Dual Rise autographs features a prospect and a rookie from the same franchise. Both players will sign on the card, which will be numbered to 25. Triple auto cards will be numbered to five.
Inception will not be limited to autographs. Relic cards will have autographs and low serial numbers. Autographed relics will have red parallels numbered to 50, blue numbered to 25 and a 1/1 Inception parallel.
There’s more: 1/1 Autographed Logo Patch cards will feature the MLB patch from the player’s jersey collar and an autograph sticker. Even more staggering, a Triple Autograph Patch card will have a multicolored patch, a sticker autograph and will be numbered to five.
Continuity programs will be featured throughout the year in Bowman releases. The Bowman Black Collection will feature 25 players and will be numbered to 25. And the Blue Sapphire Refractor pays tribute to the top 10 players throughout Bowman’s 65 years.
What could be an interesting subset are the Little League autograph cards. Oversized cards will feature a player’s image from his Little League or high school playing days, along with that player’s autograph. Those cards will be numbered to 20.
Topps is in the final stages of its “Make Your Pro Debut” contest from the 2012 Topps Heritage — Minor League Baseball Edition. That promotion offered collectors the chance to be a pro baseball player for one day with the Corpus Christi Hooks. Collectors who qualified had to write an essay explaining why they should be chosen. Fans are currently reading those essays on Topps’ Facebook page.
Inception also will contain an essay contest, but the prize is much more high profile.
This time, collectors who receive a sweepstakes card will write an essay explaining why they should receive two tickets to the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field. The winning essayist will receive a trip for two and the opportunity to take batting practice during the first round of the All-Star Game’s home run derby.
A trip to Wrigley Field in itself is a treat. I well remember pulling a winning ticket in the 2006 Topps set that awarded me two tickets to a baseball game, with several venues offered. I chose Wrigley Field and took my oldest son (then 19) and we sat in the left field upper deck to watch the Cubs play the Pittsburgh Pirates in an afternoon game at the Friendly Confines.
Two collectors will have the chance to attend the All-American Game this year at Wrigley. It’s a nice golden ticket to pull from an Inception pack.
It’s a nice feature from what could be a very nice set of cards.