1994 Bowman’s Best Baseball Review
In 1994, a new mainstay product was introduced. It was from Bowman, but had an edgier look and a chrome-like finish to it. This was the very first issue of Bowman’s Best. It was a simple product devoid of inserts. There were veterans, rookies/young stars, a subset, a refractor parallel, and that was it. (READ: This will be a short review) There were no autographs, no atomic refractors, and no insert sets. Each box contained 24 packs of 7 cards each. These can be easily had for under $30. I decided to try one out, and wasn’t disappointed. Here’s what I got:
Base set: There are 200 cards in the base set. They break down as follows: 90 RED cards, 90 BLUE cards, and 20 Mirror Image SUBSET cards, found 1 per pack. The red cards featured your veterans, the blues featured rookies/prospects/young stars, and the Mirror Images featured a veteran paired with a rising star at the same position. The cards themselves look OK, but there appears to be granite all over the place for some reason. I pulled 61/90 red cards, 55/90 blue cards, and 16/20 Mirror Image cards. Overall, that’s 132/200 base cards. I also had 33 duplicates and 1 triple.
Refractors (1:9 packs): All 200 cards in the set come with a refractor parallel. One would find 2-3 of these per box. I pulled 2 from my box. The first was a blue card: D.J. Boston (Blue Jays), the brother of former outfielder Daryl Boston, and a career minor leaguer. The second was a veteran, who also had ties to Toronto, and was even part of the 1992 Championship team: Jimmy Key. As a Yankee fan, I was very happy with this card, even if it’s not worth a whole lot. Oh yeah, and what’s he like, 45?
Final Thoughts: This box was a fun one to rip, even with the lack of inserts and only a couple parallels. I should note that the following year’s Bowman’s Best product (1995 – The BIG ONE with Vlad, Andruw, Rolen, Abreu, Carpenter, etc. rookies) followed a similar format so there were no insert sets until 1996. I did get 2 of the 3 best rookies in the set in Jorge Posada and Billy Wagner (the other one being Edgar Renteria). The Mirror Image cards were cool. It’s always interesting to look back and see which players were considered the future back then. Overall, not a bad box for just $27. For that price, why not go ahead and rip one?
As always, thanks for the read and good luck with your own box breaks!