Thursday, January 12, 2012

2011 Bowman Sterling Baseball Cards Box Break Recap and Review

About a month ago Topps announced that the autograph checklist for 2011 Bowman Sterling Baseball would be significantly enhanced from what was originally provided.  After busting a box, it is clear to see what they meant.  At 13 auto and 7 relic cards this product is loaded with enough goodness to make any prospecting collectors happy.

Bowman Sterling Basetball comes in at the high end of our premium cards category.  Each hobby box contains 6 mini-boxes with 5 cards each.  Each mini-box should yield 1 Relic and 2 Autograph Cards for a hobby box total of 12 Autographs and 6 Relics.  In addition to that you get a box topper dual relic and one dual autograph card.

Here are some of the cards we pulled.

Base Set
 Eric Hosmer, front and back

Yankees Prospect Manny Banuelos, Indians Rookie Jason Kipnis

Base Parallels
 Mike Moustakas Refractor #/199, Javier Baez Gold Refractor #/50

Box Topper
 Justin Verlander - Roy Halladay Duel Game Used Memorabilia #/196

USA Baseball Relics
 Dominic Ficociello

 Nolan Fontana, Brady Rodgers

Rookie Relics
 Zach Britton

 Brandon Beachy, Michael Pineda

 Rookie Autographs
 Maikel Cleto, Nathan Eovaldi

Minor League Prospects
 Chris Wallace, Mychal Givens, Aaron Hicks

 2011 Major League Baseball Draft First Round Picks
 Brandon Martin (#38 overall), Blake Swihart (#26 overall), Taylor Guerrieri (#24 overall)

 Jose Fernandez (#14 overall), Brandon Nimmo (#13 overall), George Springer (#11 overall)

 Taylor Jungmann (#12 overall) Gold Refractor Auto #/50

Dual Auto
 Minnesota Twins Ben Revere and Liam Hendriks #/225

Overall Look
This is solid design along the lines of Premium and Finest but feels very Bowman.  Not a lot of variation besides color parallel and refractors, but that is fine.

Quality and Variety of Players
This is a tight base set at 50 cards and that is OK.  The Autographs and relics checklist is top notch.

Do the Hits satisfy?
How can you go wrong when the autographs are made up of current rookie, farm system stars and first round picks from the 2011 Baseball Draft?  The dual Memorabilia box toppers are great as are the dual Rookie/Prospect Team Auto cards.  Additional hits from USA Baseball are a bonus. In our box 6 of the autos were of current first round draft picks, 1 from the supplemental first round, 1 former first rounder and 3 rookies.  This seems to be in line with expectations, which should satisfy plenty of prospectors.

Will you keep coming back for more?
This is a “High Risk, High Reward” product but the risk is greatly decreased by the caliber of prospects/rookies and the volume of autographs contained in a full hobby box.  This is definitely a multiple box purchase if you can swing it.

4 1/2 out of 5

2011 Bowman Sterling Baseball is perfect for prospecting current rising stars.

Review box provided by Topps

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