There are a lot of things that frustrate me about Bowman releases, not the least of which being the complete lack of Pirates over the past decade. But from time to time the product has its benefits.
Bowman Chrome autos are a double edged sword. For the budget-conscious collector, autos of even the lowliest of players on a Chrome card tend to send its price north of what I consider it "worth," and that is even more true for legitimate prospects. It also means that it can often take years after a set's release for a player to pan out.
While flipping through some album pages the other day, I came across a card that caught my eye.
I have a Michael Bourn auto? And a shiny X-Fractor at that? News to me. After a little more digging in my memory bank, I remembered how this card found its way into my collection.
I pulled both the Bourn and Cliff Pennington below on the same day while busting packs at the LCS (back when my collecting interests were even less focused than they are now, and my LCS trips far more frequent). I can't remember if the cards are from the same box (or even the same product, since I don't have the cards in front of me to check if they're from Chrome of Draft). At the time I was familiar with both players, but knew they weren't any of the hot ticket cards in the set at the time. I remember being particularly unimpressed with Pennington, since he seemed - and looked - far too similar to A's SS Bobby Crosby.
It's a pleasant surprise to see that both players have developed into solid major league regulars since then. Perhaps it's equally a testament to how infrequently I have looked at my non-Pittsburgh cards in the last few years. That's something this blog, and the blogosphere in general, are quickly helping to change.