Sep 15, 2012

1997 Bowman Chrome Box Break....Lights

1997 Bowman Chrome is one of the iconic emblem sets of the past 20 years. It was the first time that Chromium technology was put on the Bowman line after the success of 1996 Topps Chrome. The configuration of Bowman Chrome from then is very different than the configuration of Bowman Chrome now. It was released in a single series of 300 cards and was a partial parallel of the Bowman set.  The design was also different.  The black became gray and pinstripey.  Inserts from the regular Bowman set were also chromed and refractored up.  Color refractors did not yet exist.

I opened up a box of this recently and received no major rookies (Halladay, Berkman, Tejada), but it was interesting to say the least.  Refractors only fell twice per box in these days, and insert refractors were sometimes rarer.  I wouldn't say this was a great box, but here are some....lights, shall we say, of the cards pulled
Ken Griffey Jr: This was Griffey in his prime, a proverbial powerhouse of undying hobby love.
Scout's Honor Roll Dmitri Young: Here's one of those chromed up inserts, this is especially relevant due to the news from earlier this summer and the selling of his amazing card collection.
Jim Thome International Parallel: This was the progenitor year of the international parallels, brought back to the Bowman line in 2011.  Thome was still playing this year, incredibly.
Travis Lee Scout's Honor Roll Refractor: At least the refractors had an R on the back to designate them.  One of my least favorite Phillies players ever.  Also, this card was made a year before the D-Backs existed.  How could this be?
Adam Eaton rookie: Star pitcher of the 2008 World Series champions (actually he was beyond terrible on his second stint as a Phillie, earning -3.0 WAR in 2007 and 2008 combined with >6 ERA)
Jon Garland rookie: Garland had a pretty good career, excelling as a finesse pitcher on the White Sox for many years.
Andy Pettitte: Here;s an example of a veteran base card, of someone who just can't stay away from the pull of the game.
Kris Benson rookie:  Here is the first pick in 1997 draft, he would be a headliner when this set was released.
Jose Cruz Jr. rookie: This guy, though, exploded in popularity in 1997.  He was supposed to be Griffey and Thomas all rolled into one with higher panache.  The trade to Toronto for Paul Spoljaric and Mike Timlin was one of the more shocking transactions of 1997.  The 12th ranked prospect for 2 relief pitchers? Really?  Not that he became a superstar, but still didn't seem prudent.
Eric Chavez rookie: This was the best rookie I pulled from the box from past and present value.  He's remaking his career as a platoon Yankee.  Until 2006, he may have been the best all-around 3rd baseman in baseball.
Scott Elarton rookie: He was in the Phillies organization earlier this year, so I included a scan of him.  Had a career best 17 wins in 2000.
Octavio Dotel rookie: He's played for a record 13 teams, including the Mets here and the Cardinals last year.
RA Dickey rookie: This is what he looked like before the beard, knuckleball, and mountain climbing.  One of the more compelling rise to success stories in baseball over the past couple years. The league always needs a knuckleballer.  He has a real chance at the Cy Young award this year.
Gary Sheffield International: Sheffield, a flag, and Marlins teal, very '90s.
Nathan Haynes Refractor: The base refractors were much more shiny and reflective by this point.
Nelson Figueroa International: He was a Phillie double-dipper, in 2001 and 2010 (h/t to gcrl)
Albert Belle International: The menacing visage of Albert Belle gave pitchers and his teammates nightmares.  But wow, what a run from '92-'99 he had before his hip deteriorated too far to play.
Scout's Honor Roll Nomar Garciaparra: He actually won the ROY in 1997 unlike the player on the card below.
1998 ROY Favorite Travis Lee: Who did have a decent rookie season and finished 3rd behind Kerry Wood and Todd Helton. He always held his bat like that in all the photos. Can we move on now?

John Smoltz International Refractor:  This was the one per box insert.  At least I received a great player.  I do like some shiny flags.

This box only had 96 cards in it, so this is a difficult set to complete.  I'm glad I had the opportunity to open a box now.  They were $7 per pack in 1997.  The quest for the Halladay continues unabated.

1 comment:

Spiegel83 said...

Cool break. The USA card parallel is really nice looking. I also enjoy seeing some ball players that I watched play over the years looking young and totally different back then.