After enjoying a little 1989 Bowman yesterday I thought I would get into a few of my favorite Bowman sets from the 1990s for today's Friday Five countdown. There were some great Bowman sets throughout the 1990s, and while I enjoy a some aspect of all the sets, I am narrowing my focus today down to my favorite five.
Let's get going.....
5. 1991 Bowman
This has always been one of my favorite Bowman sets of all-times. I know it kind of goes into that junk wax category, but I still love this set. So many reasons to love this set, the most obvious being that it's inexpensive and extremely easy to find. Remember towards the later half of the decade when Topps started putting those $125 guarantee cards in Bowman packs. I always hated those things. The 1991 Bowman set will probably never be worth $125, but there are still tons of cool rookie cards in the product. How can you go wrong with a Bagwell, Chipper Jones, Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Mussina, or Jim Thome rookie? You can't.
Snorting Bull's Hidden Gem: Card number #474 Jeromy Burnitz. Every kid from the 1990s remembers the Griffey batting stance and follow thru. Burnitz has an equally cool follow thru, but he just had a few more swinging misses than Griffey. Dude still hit 300 career home runs.
4. 1997 Bowman
I always liked this set's design. The rookie cards are not as good as the 1991 Bowman set, or other Bowman products from the 1990s, but I love the black borders with the colored frame inside. The veterans had red frames, prospects blue. There are also International cards in this set with the flags behind the pictures of the players. Really nice looking cards. The rookie cards in this set include Adrian Beltre, Kerry Wood, Roy Halladay, Aramis Ramirez, and Lance Berkman. Not sure how many of those are Hall of Famers, but plenty of good players there.
Snorting Bull's Hidden Gem: Card Number #198 Fernando Tatis. The guy hit two grand slams in an inning. You should probably own his rookie card. Chan Ho Park fans look away.
3. 1994 Bowman
I think that the quality of rookie cards in the 1994 set is similar to the 1997 set, there are good players in here, but I am not sure there are any Hall of Famers in the bunch. Probably the best rookie card in here is the Jorge Posada, but Jermaine Dye and Torii Hunter are also in the 1994 Bowman set. I like the foil cards in this set, which include the Rolen rookie. I had a good time putting this set together, so on a personal note I have to give it a slight nod above the 1997 set.
Snorting Bull's Hidden Gem: Card Number #98 Edgar Renteria. Always liked Edgar. He had some really great moments during his career.
2. 1995 Bowman
The Vlad rookie makes this set for me, but there are some other good cards in this set too. I think a lot collectors go with Andruw Jones as the best rookie card after the Vlad, but there are some nice hidden gems here. Again, probably not Hall of Famers, but as a fan of 1990s baseball cards several are really good names. I actually think the Bobby Abreu rookie is underrated, as are Jason Kendall, Chris Carpenter, Scott Rolen, Paul Konerko, and Hideo Nomo.
Snorting Bull's Hidden Gem: Card Number #131 Chris Weinke The guy would go on to win the 2000 Heisman Trophy and was the number one draft pick of the Carolina Panthers. Better than Drew Henson, Brandon Weeden, or Drew Hutchinson.
1. 1992 Bowman
This is hands down the best Bowman set from the 1990s. It's not a great design, but there are a ton of good names in this set including a few players who should be in the Hall of Fame. The second tier of cards in the 1992 Bowman set is probably on par with the 1994 and 1995 set. Let's start with the no-brainers: Mike Piazza, Mariano Rivera, and Manny Ramirez at Duke Chapel. The second tier cards in this set include rookies of Trevor Hoffman, Carlos Delgado, and second year cards of Chipper Jones and Pedro Martinez.
The Snorting Bull's Hidden Gem: Card Number 124- Brien Taylor. The card was awesome in 1992, but Taylor never panned out for the Yankees.