Here is the danger of going to Target for a blaster of Topps Opening Day. Down on the bottom shelf is the box of discount blasters. Usually in my neck of the woods it's all hockey cards, a couple of Panini football releases, and maybe some Goodwin Champions. But on this day there was a lone blaster of 2015 Bowman Baseball in there with the 40% off sticker. There was also a blaster of something else that I recall looking too good to be true, and it was. It was a regular blaster that someone had stashed in there. I returned it to its rightful place and grabbed the Bowman blaster to 'think about it' while I walked around the store. I justified taking it home because it's a discount blaster of a product that can be fun to open. I've generally had decent luck with Bowman.
Here are the listed odds, for those who are into that kind of stuff. Definitely a lot more going on in this product than you find in Opening Day. Heck, this Bowman stuff has three different base sets in it.
The first base set features Veterans. One thing that I'd never noticed before is that the blank white corners are on the left for this portion and on the right for the Prospects set. That makes sorting a little easier. I just scanned a few of the base cards from each section. I hear that Mookie Betts is a pretty big deal in Boston. The fantasy baseball folks are expecting big things out of him. Houston traded for Ken Giles to shore up a bullpen that was pretty shaky at times last season. Andrew McCutchen is a superstar. Billy Hamilton runs fast, but he needs to get better with a bat. He always gets drafted too early in fantasy because of the dazzling stolen base numbers he can put up, but he hurts you in four other categories. You can always find speed lower in the draft and on the waiver wire.
In the Prospects section of the set I got two of the bigger names in Carlos Correa and Kris Bryant. Not too bad. I also got some of those Yankees, like Greg Bird and Luis Severino. I keep wondering if Zippy Zappy is going to rename his blog again, from
Cervin' Torren' Up Cards to Severinoen' Up Cards. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? To be fair, Severino is slated to be on the big club Yankees this year and thus not really in Zippy Zappy's wheelhouse. I call that a missed opportunity.
The Chrome Prospects portion of the break was mostly guys I've never heard of, or at least never given much thought to. I recognize Hunter Harvey's name, although I don't know anything about him. Mark Appel was one of the guys the Astros gave up to get Ken Giles. I chose Josh Bell because I like the Pirates' uniforms and Buddy Borden because his name is Buddy and his full name is almost as good as Buddy Boshers.
Now we're getting into the shiny stuff from the break. These are all from the The Farm's Finest Chrome Minis set. The Bradley Zimmer and the Renato Nunez on the left are base models, while the Nick Tropeano card on the right is a Blue Shimmer Refractor, which falls 1:175 packs.
The really cool thing about these cards is that they feature lists on the back of the organization's top prospects. According to these lists, the Indians have several highly-ranked outfield prospects, the Oakland A's have a mix of guys, and the Angels are pitcher-heavy (as of the time this set was designed in 2015). The Nick Tropeano card is serially-numbered # 066 / 150.
Here's another list-based insert, the Bowman Scouts' Top 100. I've always liked this insert set, but I haven't ever realistically thought about putting one of the annual checklists together. I still like pulling them, though. Joc Pederson is a decent pull. He made the All-Star Game last year, but will probably need to bump up that batting average a bit and / or hit a butt-ton of home runs. He's having a pretty good spring so far.
I think this is the basic Chrome Prospect Refractor parallel of Jen-Ho Tseng's card, which is a surprisingly tough pull at 1:53 packs. In 2015 Topps went to a model of really cutting back on the colored parallels in the Bowman and Chrome brands. I wasn't really a fan of the move, as those products really kind of live and die on cards with colorful borders. I don't know much about this guy, as he's only 21 years old and buried way down in the Cubs' A+ club. The card is serially-numbered # 079 / 499.
This blaster wasn't quite done giving up decent stuff, though, as I also got an autographed card of Alex Balog. He appears to still be in the Rockies' system, pitching for their Modesto A+ club in 2015 and also in winter ball in Australia. He's not even projected to be in the majors for a while, if he even gets there. He lists The Great Gatsby as his favorite book, which makes him either a liar or a nerd. This autograph is the Silver parallel, numbered # 018 / 499. They are seeded 1:144 packs, which makes this another pretty tough pull.
I can't complain too much about this blaster. I got some decent cards among the base stuff, a couple of good inserts, and three relatively scarce serially-numbered cards. That's not too bad for a discount blaster. The hits probably aren't good enough for me to say, "I made my money back on this break," but maybe if you combine them with the Bryant and Correa base cards and add in the rest of the cards and squint real hard you could make a case for it. Breaking Bowman is a lot more fun than it should be, but it would be even more fun with a little more color in the box. Maybe I am looking at the past with rose-colored glasses and Bowman has always been this way, but I seem to recall a bit more shiny and colorful stuff in previous years of the product.