I remember being one of the lucky few who busted packs of Bowman Chrome in its debut in 1997. I didn’t know much about the product but at $8 dollars a pack and with some singles selling for close to $50 dollars, I just could not resist.
Back in 1997, no one knew just what kind of impact Bowman Chrome would have. All anyone cared about was pulling the Kerry Wood or Jose Cruz Jr., preferably the Refractor versions if possible.
Unfortunately, many of the big names from 1997 Bowman Chrome burned out. Kerry Wood for example struck out 20 batter in one game and then spent the rest of his career making trips to the disabled list.
Jose Cruz Jr. also caught fire when he joined Seattle in 1998 and for one reason or another which I will never understand, was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays. He had some success but eventually ended his career in anonymity.
There have been some success stories from 1997 Bowman Chrome. The big name in the set today is Lance Berkman and the parallel versions of his cards sell for a pretty penny. Miguel Tejada’s cards do well also.
I never really expected anyone else from that original Bowman Chrome checklist to cause any Hobby waves. It had been so long (12 years) that anyone who was due to make an impact would have done it by now.
Boy, was I wrong.
Jayson Werth, a giant who has been in The Show since 2002 and still has played in over 100 more games in the Minors, has quietly blossomed into a fearsome slugger for the Philadelphia Phillies this year.
Playing a full season for the first time at the age of 30, Werth blasted 36 home runs and drove in 99 runners during the regular season and already has 3 blasts in the playoffs. As expected, this has brought some new attention to 1997 Bowman Chrome.
Cards that were selling for a couple of dollars a few months ago are now selling for as high as $35 and his certified autographs from Allen & Ginter have hit new highs. This goes to show that it’s never to late to rummage through your box of Bowman Chrome looking for the next surprise superstar.
I’m still holding on to my 1992 Topps Brien Taylor. You never know …