A couple weeks ago, Tim at 90’s Box Breaks busted a box of 1999 Bowman Chrome Series 1. Today, we’ll take a look at Series 2, the portion of the set containing most of the big names from the ’99 class. These names include C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Alfonso Soriano, Adam Dunn, Carl Crawford, and Josh Hamilton, just to name a few. With a list like that, it should come as no surprise that these boxes can be a bit pricey, often running in the $75-100+ range. The Baseball Card Exchange currently has these priced at $65, the lowest price I could find so I bit. But was it worth it?
Box Details: 24 packs per box, 4 cards per pack, $65
From: Baseball Card Exchange
Base set: As you gathered from Tim’s review, Series 2 contains 220 base cards: 70 red veterans and 150 prospects/rookies. My box yielded 72 of 220 basic cards (roughly 33%, 22 red, 50 blue) with 15 duplicates. Ironically, all 15 of my dupes were reds.
Rookies of note: C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Joe Nathan, Freddy Garcia, David Eckstein, Aubrey Huff
International (1:12 packs): One big difference between Series 1 and Series 2 is the distribution of the International parallels. In Series 1, they are seeded at a rate of 6 per box. In Series 2, only 2 per box. My first pull was Tom Davey, who pitched 4 seasons in relief with the Jays, Mariners, and Padres, compiling a 7-6 record and a 4.41 ERA. My second pull was Kevin Eberwein, who played minor league ball for 5 seasons. I love city skylines on cards and wholeheartedly agree with Tim. These cards look a thousand times better on chrome than they do (regular Bowman) foil.
Refractors (1:12 packs): Of course, no chrome set would be complete without the refractor parallels! In both Series, these are seeded at a rate of 2 per box. I pulled two rookie refractors: Brady Clark and Corey Patterson. It’s too bad Patterson never panned out the way many thought he would. It’s also too bad I didn’t pull this card in 1999. This card was huge then (just like that 2000 Asadoorian I pulled a couple years ago).
International Refractors (1:50 packs, numbered to 100): The International Refractors in Series 2 are a little easier to pull than those in the first series (1:50 packs as opposed to 1:76 packs). Check out the scan. These cards are stunning. Even though I pulled Garret Anderson (059/100), I’m not entirely disappointed. That should say something about these cards.
2000 ROY Favorites (10 cards, 1:12 packs): A common insert of past Bowman products, the 2000 ROY Favorites showcased some of baseball’s best prospects from a decade ago, including Pat Burrell and Alex Escobar. Refractor versions are found 1 in every 100 packs on average.
Impact (20 cards, 1:15 packs): While the ROY Favorites set focuses only on prospects, the Impact set features a mixture of both veteran stars and prospects, as evidenced by the Joe McEwing and Alex Rodriguez above. Both sets are exclusive to Series 2. Impact refractors are seeded 1 in every 75 packs.
15% of the box’s contents were duplicates. That drives me particularly insane when there are only 96 cards in a box and 220 cards in the basic set. If you go back and do the math, you’ll see that I got 37 red cards but of only 22 different players.
The greatest thing about this box was the fact that the cards were in tremendous shape. No dings, creases, scratches…nothing. I was very pleasantly surprised by this as I usually get at least one card in every box that is mangled straight from the pack.
Overall, I was hoping to score one or two more big rookies, rather than David Eckstein (ugh). Despite the fact that some of the pulls were very lackluster, the International Refractor brought this box’s score up a bit, to a little better than average in my opinion. And like I said earlier, the Patterson would’ve been a big card around this product’s time of release, but who would want it now? If any Cubs fans in the blogosphere are interested, let me know.
I must say that I probably wouldn’t have even considered breaking this box if I had to pay anywhere near the $100 mark for it. Remember, the only guarantees in this box are 2 refractors, 2 Internationals, 3-4 ROY/Impact inserts, and a handful of rookies. There are tons of great names to shoot for and if you’re into the whole grading thing, they should grade pretty high if they come out like my cards did. For $65, I figured it would be worth a shot and while I wasn’t totally disappointed with my results, I surely would’ve been if I had to shell out the extra $35-40 only to find that all but about 4-5 of my rookies were on the level of Peter Bergeron, Bubba Crosby, and Guillermo Mota. I’d proceed with caution on this one, at least if you end up paying top dollar.
Overall Grade: B-
Following in the footsteps of Mario at Wax Heaven, I just opened up a box of 1997 Bowman Chrome. Many of you may recall the first-ever video box break of this stuff about three weeks ago. Now, it’s my turn. Yeah, you all know what’s coming…
Base set: There are 300 cards in the set: 100 veteran “Reds” and 200 rookie/prospect “blues.” My box yielded 30 reds and 53 blues, or 83 of 300 basic cards, for 27.67% There were no duplicates in this box. Some of the key rookies included Miguel Tejada, Vernon Wells, Aramis Ramirez, Kerry Wood, Adrian Beltre and to a lesser extent, Orlando Cabrera and Jose Cruz, Jr.
International (1:4 packs): Inserted into every fourth pack on average are the International parallels which feature the flag of the player’s country of origin in the background. My pulls were of Adrian Beltre (RC), Greg Maddux, Moises Alou, Todd Greene, Marlon Anderson, and Dermal Brown.
Refractors (1:12 packs): Where’s there’s chrome, there are refractors. My refractors were Sandy Alomar (who I didn’t think would ever stop playing) and Brett Tomko (who is surprisingly still playing).
International Refractors (1:24 packs): Since they already had shiny cards and flag backgrounds, why not make shiny flagged-background cards? I pulled a Robbie Bell, who at least had some experience in the Majors, just for some bad teams. Hmm, two Internationals with Braves on it in the same box as the “Evil Alomar.”
Scout’s Honor Roll (1:12 packs): Seeded at two per box are the Scout’s Honor Roll inserts. These inserts are made to look like a notepad and if you look at the back, you’ll see a mini evaluation of the “five tools” each prospect is judged on: hitting, power, speed, defense, and arm. I pulled a Kevin Orie and Wilton Guerrero. A refractor version can be found in every 36 packs on average. I found a refractor of Darin Erstad in this box.
1998 ROY Favorites (1:24 packs): Finishing this box off are the 1998 ROY Favorites inserts. This set features just the best baseball prospects of the time. These cards are borderless and feature an up-close portrait shot of the player. I pulled a Todd Helton. The refractor version of this insert is seeded 1 in every 72 packs.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a decent break overall. The refractors and a couple of the insert pulls were undoubtedly weak, but this was made up for by the rookie pulls, which is what I was more focused on. It would’ve been nice to pull a Berkman though and really nice to pull a shiny one with a flag background!
As always, thanks for reading and good luck with your own breaks!