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!