Monday, December 17, 2012

30 Year Top 50: 1995 Bowman

#20- This set was a huge part of the Bowman prospect craze of the mid to late 90s.  While it did not have the ridiculous $125 value guarantee of some of the later 90s Bowman sets, it was one of the more valuable sets of Bowman cards since it's rebirth in 1989.  Like most Bowman sets, the value and popularity of the center centered around a few key rookie cards in the set.  While the set has lost much of it's value and luster, as some of the key rookie players have aged and not lived up to their hype, the set will still run north of $40.  The key rookies below are also in the chromier/shiny looking Bowman's Best.

1995 Bowman Vladimir Guerrero

The most important card in the set is the Vladimir Guerrero rookie card.  The card has always been a pretty popular rookie and has ranged above $50 at times.  I am not sure that Vladimir's final years really helped him in the baseball card world since you can now find nicely graded copies around $20 and raw singles for less than $5.  I will honestly admit that I liked watching Vladimir play, always kept track of him, and have dabbled in his cards.  I think he's a Hall of Fame player, not on the first ballot, and his cards are easy to find and inexpensive.  I am not saying that they will have a ton of value, but there are plenty of really cool ones.  

1995 Bowman Foil Scott Rolen 

The next best card in the set, in my opinion, is the Scott Rolen rookie.  The card is apart of the Foil subset, which was short printed (I believe), and can be a little bit more condition sensitive then the other rookie cards.  I spent a few years watching Rolen as the Cardinals third baseman and spent time collecting his cards and know that this is a pretty popular card.  Despite it's popularity, it can be easily found for less than $5.  I am not sure that Rolen is a Hall of Famer, but he's probably pretty close given how many Gold Gloves he has won and his offensive numbers as a third baseman.

1995 Bowman Chris Carpenter 

I know that some who are reading this post are probably a little surprised that I put Carpenter down as the third key rookie card in this set, but keep reading and I will get to the other rookie card.  Carpenter seems to miss a lot of time, but when he's healthy he's a great clutch pitcher.  I credit him for being one of the major reasons the Cardinals won the World Series in both 2006 and 2011.  This is not a very valuable card, probably never will be, but it's a great card to throw into your collection just for the sake of owning a nice rookie card of a really good pitcher.  

1995 Bowman Andruw Jones 

This is one of my least favorite baseball cards ever.  It's always been completely overrated, but then again, Andruw Jones has always kind of been that way.  I understand that it was really cool the Braves called him up when he was 19, made the World Series, and hit two home runs in a game.  He had five or six good years and has been a bench player since he left the Braves.  Despite all of that, I still run into people that have crazy opinions of this card.  I have heard everything from people hoarding them, because he's a first ballot Hall of Famer to Andruw is working out this winter and will be back out in centerfield next year...he's one Gold Glove away from being the next Willie Mays.  Last summer, a fellow trader tried to trade me a copy of this card, straight up, for a Buster Posey rookie.  Apparently they were using a Beckett from 1997.  Ironically, last week I traded for a Rick Ankiel autograph and got this card as a throw-in.  

Like the 1995 Bowman set?  Not in my Top 50 is the legendary 1995 Topps Traded set.  This great 1995 set also featured a few key rookies, but the had some issues.  I am still not sure which card people value more, the Carlos Beltran card of Juan LeBron or the Juan LeBron card of Carlos Beltran.  I picked up both just in case.  

1995 Topps Traded Carlos Beltran/Juan LeBron

1995 Topps Traded Juan LeBron/Carlos Beltran

I have always really enjoyed these two cards and consider it one of the better error cards of the past twenty years or so.  I know that Topps makes all kinds of goofy intentional errors now, but I am sure that aside from a few people in the Royals organization and Baseball America employees, few probably knew the difference between the two players in 1995.  Beltran has obviously had a far more successful career than LeBron who never reached the majors.  

1995 Topps Traded Hideo Nomo 

There is also a rookie card of Dodger pitcher Hideo Nomo that was pretty popular back in the day.  I actually got a chance to see Nomo pitch during the summer of 1995 in St. Louis and am pretty sure that this picture was taken during that game.  The crowd isn't wearing much red for a Cardinals game, but the low green wall seems very Busch Stadium like.  Plus, I wouldn't wear red if Tripp Cromer and Chris Sabo was the right side of my infield.  I love how Nomo is looking sideways and the ball is out of his hand.  Crazy.   

1 comment:

  1. 1995 bowman was awesome! i finally acquired this set this year because it was more cost effective than buying packs to complete it.

    the foils were one per pack, but there were only 40 or so. there was also a gold foil parallel that was 3 or 4 per box.

    my favorite was the rolen, but i have to say i like the abreu rookie as well and there's still another active guy in bartolo colon in that set.