Do you know that Bowman autograph inserts celebrated a decade in the hobby last year? It was not too difficult to miss considering that about 90% of the hobby was obsessed and enamored with a young, flame-thrower’s Bowman autograph. His name is Joba Chamberlain and by now you have either made a killing selling his various Bowman Chrome auto’s or you are more deep in debt than ever before after paying hundreds of dollars on eBay to hoard as many as you possibly can. Does that sound familiar to you?
Officially, 1997 was the first year Bowman put autographs in their products (Bowman & Bowman’s Best) but as innovative as that move was back then, most of the attention turned to the debut of a product lacking autographs entirely, Bowman Chrome. So while ’97 Bowman Chrome grabbed all the attention with rookies of future superstars (*cough*) Jose Cruz Jr. & Adrian Beltre among others, Bowman flew well under the radar. Besides, odds of pulling an autograph from Bowman that year was almost impossible unless you had a couple of cases on hand.
Today, the Bowman brand along with Bowman Autographs still pretty much run the entire hobby. You can produce super high-end wax with guaranteed 1 of 1 hits and autographs of every superstar imaginable but somehow and perhaps for the right reason, that $80 dollar box of Bowman will always sell, even if your Joba Chamberlain Autograph Refractor #’d to 50 won’t.