I want to be in charge of Topps!

I cannot believe that with the year winding down, we collectors are left with Topps Heritage High Numbers Edition but no Turkey Red or Bowman’s Best. While at least we know Turkey Red will make a comeback in 2009 Topps as an insert set, there has been no news about the under appreciated Bowman’s Best.

If you recall, Best made its debut in 1994 and introduced the collecting world to Bowman “Chrome” cards. Unfortunately, in 1997 Bowman released a “Chrome” line and the rest as they say is history. After that, Bowman’s Best became the middle child of the Hobby.

Bowman’s flagship was for the dull collector who didn’t appreciate flash and wanted to complete a set. For those young “Joe Collector” type, Bowman Chrome offered everything you could want and in 2001 with the Albert Pujols autograph became the #1 product of the Hobby. Where did that leave Bowman’s Best?

In the gutter, that’s where. Topps had decided to shelf a legendary product so they can put out one more product featuring the ridiculously ugly ’08 Topps design (High Numbers). That’s like Britney Spears putting out two albums in one year because she thought we just couldn’t get enough of it. Sorry, as a collector who has bought Topps since 1990 I can honestly say 2007 was the absolute worst design of a Topps flagship I have ever seen. Thank goodness 2009 brings  change (link).

Now, as far as Bowman’s Best is concerned: does it deserve a return in 2009? Bowman’s Best once ruled the Hobby with Vladimir Guererro and Andruw Jones Refractor rookie cards and ultra-rare (at the time) certified autographs. Just looking at their 2007 autograph checklist, they obviously had the right idea. If you busted a box of Best in ’07 you could of pulled a certified autograph of Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Braun, Tim Lincecum, Prince Fielder, Cole Hamels, Joba Chamberlain, Matt Holiday, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Howard plus the hot prospects everyone wants. The only problem was the price tag of $250+ per box online and even more in Hobby shops.

If Topps cared about the old school collectors who once loved Bowman’s Best, they’d bring it back in 2009 but it looks like today it’s all about gimmicks, relics and the continuing Prospects War versus Razor, Tristar and Donruss. I am guessing we will see Bowman Little League cards before we ever see another release of Bowman’s Best. For card companies, money talks and old school walks.

It’s just a way of life.

The first Bowman Refractor - 95 Bowmans Best

First Bowman Refractor - '94 Bowman's Best

The First Bowman Xfractor - 96 Bowmans Best Atomic Refractor

First Bowman "Xfractor" - '96 Bowman's Best Atomic

First Bowman Chrome autograph - 97 Bowmans Best

First "Chrome" autograph - '97 Bowman's Best

10 thoughts on “I want to be in charge of Topps!

  1. My guess is that Topps shelved Bowman’s Best because the high end products aren’t selling as well in the bad economy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it come back next year, and I hope it does, maybe at a lower price point.

    I’m not sure what you mean about Heritage High Numbers and the ’07 Topps design. I agree that the ’07 Topps design was pretty bad, but Heritage High Numbers is based on the 1959 Topps design…

  2. I think you’re the first person I’ve run across who actually misses Bowman’s Best. I’d rather bring back Topps Total or Bazooka if I got to be in charge of Topps.

  3. Opening Day is Topps Total, and yes Mario and Dave, there are 2 – 2008 Updates & Highlights cards in every pack of High Numbers. Plus a really bad checklist of the actual 1959 designed cards.

  4. There are two 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights cards in each pack of Heritage High Numbers. I think you meant to say “2008 was the absolute worst design of a Topps flagship I have ever seen” instead of 2007. I don’t understand why they include the U&H cards in Heritage High Numbers, but the main focus of the set is the Heritage cards. If I had to choose between Topps producing Heritage High Numbers, Turkey Red, and Bowman’s Best, I’d pick Heritage High Numbers in a heartbeat!

  5. Bowman’s Best can stay dead. Expensive GIMMICKY cards that are way overpriced. I miss Turkey Red, I love those cards.

  6. I know it’s a tough economy, but when you’re limited to 17 baseball products as mandated by the MLBPA, you’d have to think as a company:

    What would sell faster (and thus bring in more money quicker): a high end, high-price point set/product that market research shows not too many people will want to buy because of the price, regardless of how much stuff we put into it, or a low/mid price point set/product we know that many collectors will WANT to get their hands on, especially if we can call it an UPDATE set?

    My money is on the Update set. Then again, I’m not much of a Bowman fan.


    JayBee Anama

    P.S. You thought 2008’s design was bad??? Be glad you were not around for the debacle called 2002 Topps. Now THAT design was awful…(stupid ugly orange borders…) jba

  7. I think you answered your own question as to why Bowman’s Best is no longer around. The introduction of Bowman Chrome “crowded out” Best. Bowman’s Best Circa 1997-2000 was a great product, and I wouldn’t mind if Topps brought it back. But they won’t.

    And oh yeah, Opening Day is NOT Topps Total. Total is a product put some effort into, and was a set worth collecting. Opening Day is nothing more than Topps X-Outs.

  8. If I’m not mistaken, I thought that Bowmans best was a Insert in a 1993 Topps product. Bowman’s Best was put on the shelf yes because of Bowman Chome. Bowman’s Best was not really a Rookie set as the regular Bowman Chrome so they went where the money was being made. If I owned Topps, I would bring back the original Topps Traded. Forget this updates and highlights, which in my opinion doesn’t even exsist. Putting out the heritage high #’s with updates, just another way to cram 2 products at the end. 2007 was a better looking set than 2008, but I love the base sets so it did not matter. If they bring back Bowman’s Best in 09 it will be high end, just like that crap they brought out this year Stadium Club. It’s the name not the product.

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