Posted in New York Mets, Uncategorized

A few 2014 Bowman Mets cards (a.k.a. “How many of these guys do you recognize?”)

I’d planned to take a break from collecting 2014 baseball cards  until Topps Series 2 came out next week, but my friend Bart gave me a few Bowman cards when I saw him this weekend.

While the baseball card blogging community has already moved on to Topps Archives (which I still plan to ignore), I’ve reconsidered my decision to skip Bowman.

Travis d'Arnaud's 1989 Bowman Is Back insert card from my collection
Travis d’Arnaud’s 1989 Bowman Is Back insert card from my collection

This flashy update of the 1989 Bowman card design is a big part of the reason why. It took a few years for Topps’ Bowman relaunch to catch on, so I didn’t think there would be much nostalgia for this first set.

But I remember going on a family vacation to Ocean City, NJ in the summer of 1989 and spending almost all of the money that I’d brought with me at a baseball card show held on the pier. I added a whole bunch of oddball cards to my Gary Carter collection, I picked up the last few Topps Doubleheaders “cards” I needed to finish that set, and I bought two boxes of the newest product to hit the market – 1989 Bowman.

Those 1989 Bowman cards stood out because they were slightly taller than the standard size cards that Topps had made since 1952, but also because they featured players that weren’t in all of the other baseball card sets. Bowman was the first time that Topps made a real effort to include draft picks and prospects that hadn’t yet made it to the major leagues. The coolest cards in the set might be the father-son subset that featured Sandy Alomar Jr./Sr., Ken Griffey Jr./Sr., Cal Ripken Jr/Sr. and Todd Stottlemyre & Mel Stottlemyre Jr./Sr.

The “1989 Bowman Is Back” cards tweak the old look to appeal to fans of the modern Bowman brand. They’re standard sized and the plain cardboard cardstock has given way to some kind of glitzy silver sparkly material. (What do we call this finish anyway?)

I’m ok with the changes – part of my dislike for the Archives brand is seeing baseball cards that look almost like they belong to sets from my youth, but they don’t really fit in (either due to minor style changes, players who don’t belong to that era, or players who do belong in that era but are wearing the wrong uniforms.) This insert series is clearly inspired by the 1989 set, rather than an attempt to recreate it.

The standard Bowman cards don’t look bad this year, either. But as usual, the prospects set is full of a lot of guys who are too far away from the major leagues to be familiar names.

Here are the ones I got:

Bartolo Colon's 2014 Bowman card (from my collection)
Bartolo Colon’s 2014 Bowman card (from my collection)

We all know Bartolo Colon (though Topps still hasn’t managed to get an actual photo of him in a Mets uniform on a baseball card.) Except for a few rocky starts, he’s done well for the Mets this year.

Gabriel-Ynoa Gabriel-Ynoa-back

Gabriel Ynoa is a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher who’s playing for the St. Lucie Mets in the Single-A Florida State League, where he is 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA through 10 games. His control is impressive: last year, he walked just 16 batters in 132.5 innings. He’s got the #14 spot on’s list of the best prospects in the Mets organization.

Matthew Bowman's 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects card (from my collection)
Matthew Bowman’s 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects card (from my collection)

Matthew Bowman is a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher who went to Princeton University.  A 13th round draft pick in 2012, Bowman is playing for the Double-A Binghamton Mets this year, where he is 3-3 with a 4.18 ERA through nine games.

Miller-Diaz-chrome Miller-Diaz-Flag

Miller Diaz is a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher who plays for the Single-A Savannah Sand Gnats. Through eight games (seven starts), he has a 5-0 record and a 1.93 ERA. In 42 innings, he’s already racked up 53 strikeouts (and 18 walks).

Wuilmer Becerra's 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects card (from my collection)
Wuilmer Becerra’s 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects card (from my collection)

Wuilmer Becerra is a 19-year-old outfielder who the Mets acquired in the 2012 R.A. Dickey trade. He will probably be assigned the the Rookie-level Kingsport Mets in 2014.

There are multiple levels of parallels in the 2014 Bowman set, but here are the Mets cards that appear in the basic checklist (courtesy of  Sportscard Radio)
2014 Bowman

24 Bartolo Colon
33 Zack Wheeler
36 Matt Harvey
41 Wilmer Flores
58 Curtis Granderson
164 David Wright
216 Travis d’Arnaud
BP22 Chris Flexen
BP34 Cesar Puello
BP72 Matthew Bowman
BP73 Jacob deGrom
BP74 John Gant
BP75 Robert Gsellman
BP76 Gabriel Ynoa
BP96 Wuilmer Becerra
BP97 Miller Diaz
BP98 Akeel Morris

Top 100 Prospects
BTP-15 Travis d’Arnaud
BTP-31 Noah Syndergaard
BTP-80 Rafael Montero

Chrome Prospects
BCP22 Chris Flexen
BCP34 Cesar Puello
BCP72 Matthew Bowman
BCP73 Jacob deGrom
BCP74 John Gant
BCP75 Robert Gsellman
BCP76 Gabriel Ynoa
BCP96 Wuilmer Becerra
BCP97 Miller Diaz
BCP98 Akeel Morris

Chrome Mini Cards
BM-NYM1 Noah Syndergaard
BM-NYM2 Travis d’Arnaud
BM-NYM3 Rafael Montero
BM-NYM4 Kevin Plawecki
BM-NYM5 Wilmer Flores

1989 Bowman Is Back
89BIB-DW David Wright
89BIB-TD Travis d’Arnaud
89BIB-WF Wilmer Flores

Chrome Prospect Autographs
BCAP-CF Chris Flexen
BCAP-CM Casey Meisner
BCAP-CP Cesar Puello

Chrome Rookie Autographs
BCAR-TD Travis d’Arnaud
BCAR-WF Wilmer Flores

Top 100 Prospects Autographs
Travis d’Arnaud

Chrome Mini Autographs
CMA-TD Travis d’Arnaud

Bowman Black Autographs
BBC-CM Casey Meisner
BBC-CP Cesar Puello

Futures Game Relics
FGR-BN Brandon Nimmo
FGR-DH Dilson Herrera
FGR-NS Noah Syndergaard
FGR-RM Rafael Montero

Autograph Ice
AI-BN Brandon Nimmo
AI-GC Gavin Cecchini
AI-TD Travis d’Arnaud

Oversized 1989 Bowman Autographs
AI-TD Travis d’Arnaud

Ultimate Prospect Autograph Book Card
Travis d’Arnaud