2020 Bowman Baseball: Familiar Set-Up, Refreshed Design

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2020 Bowman Baseball cards remains largely centered on the game’s future with prospects lining the checklist. Perhaps the biggest change collectors will notice is with the design, opting for a more traditional approach to the main set elements rather than the busy takes of the last several years.

Hobby boxes continue to deliver one on-card Bowman Chrome autograph.

2020 Bowman Baseball Base Set Basics

The main base set has 100 total rookies and veterans. Sometimes referred to as Bowman “Paper,” there are lots of parallels, all of which revolve around the border color:

  • Sky Blue – /499
  • Purple – /250
  • Blue – /150
  • Green – /99 (retail only)
  • Yellow – /75
  • Gold – /50
  • Orange – /25 (hobby only)
  • Red – /5
  • Platinum – 1/1
  • Printing Plates – 1/1

2020 Bowman Baseball Base Card

The set returns to a full-border design that’s solid in color all the way around. In 2019, cards were framed on three sides with the image running along one of the sides. For several years before that, borders also included lots of lines and design elements. This time around, it’s a more minimal approach, at least for the regular Bowman cards.

Prospects

As has been the case for well over a decade, Prospects are virtually identical in design but numbered separately. The checklist here has 150 cards, consisting of recent draft picks, international signees and players working their way up through the minor league ranks.

Prospects have Bowman and Bowman Chrome versions, both with identical checklists. Bowman Chrome Prospects maintain a solid border but also have the Bowman logo lightly tiled around the outside.

Bowman Prospect parallels are similar to the base set:

  • Camo – (retail value packs only)
  • Sky Blue – /499
  • Purple – /250
  • Blue – /150
  • Green (retail only)
  • Yellow – /75
  • Gold – /50
  • Orange – /25 (hobby only)
  • Red – /5
  • Platinum – 1/1
  • Printing Plates – 1/1

Bowman Chrome Prospects parallels revolve around Refractors. These have a rainbow-colored background when shone under bright light. Colors and patterns include:

  • Atomic Refractors – (1:24 hobby packs)
  • Refractors – /499
  • Speckle Refractors – /299
  • Purple Refractors – /250
  • Blue Refractors – /150
  • Blue Shimmer Refractors – /150
  • Aqua Refractors – /125
  • Aqua Shimmer Refractors – /125
  • Green Refractors – /99 (retail only)
  • Green Shimmer Refractors (retail only)
  • Yellow Refractors – /75
  • Gold Refractors – /50
  • Gold Shimmer Refractors – /50
  • Orange Refractors – /25 (hobby only)
  • Orange Shimmer Refractors – /25 (hobby only)
  • Red Refractors – /5
  • Red Shimmer Refractors – /5
  • Printing Plates – 1/1
  • Superfractors – 1/1

Autographs

For many, it’s the Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs that are the main draw. As usual, the Refractor rainbow is vast. The following are available in hobby and/or hobby jumbo packs:

  • Refractors – /499
  • Speckle Refractors – /299
  • Purple Refractors – /250
  • Blue Refractors – /150
  • Atomic Variation Refractors – /100
  • Yellow Refractors – /75
  • Gold Refractors – /50
  • Gold Shimmer Refractors – /50
  • Orange Refractors – /25 (hobby only)
  • Orange Shimmer Refractors – /25 (hobby only)
  • Red Refractors – /5
  • Red Shimmer Refractors – /5
  • Printing Plates – 1/1
  • Superfractors – 1/1

2020 Bowman Baseball Chrome Prospect Autographs Blue Refractor

Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs can also be found in retail, but only in the form of Yellow Refractors and retail-only Green and Green Shimmer Refractors. Both of the Green versions have 99 copies each.

Paper Prospects Autographs are all retail exclusives. Parallels for these include Purple (/250), Blue (/150), Green (/99), Gold (/50), Orange (/25), Red (/5) and Platinum (1/1).

While they might not be the same level of draw as a player’s first Bowman Chrome Autograph, Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs can still command attention. These highlight players who have made their MLB debuts. The parallel rainbow isn’t as big as the Chrome Prospect Autographs, but it’s still sizeable (all are hobby and hobby jumbo only unless noted):

  • Refractors – /499
  • Blue Refractors – /150
  • Atomic Refractors – /100
  • Green Refractors – /99
  • Yellow Refractors – /75 (hobby, hobby jumbo and retail)
  • Gold Refractors – /50
  • Orange Refractors – /25 (hobby only)
  • Red Refractors – /5
  • Printing Plates – 1/1
  • Superfractors – 1/1

2020 Bowman Baseball Chrome Rookie Autographs

Other signature inserts in 2020 Bowman Baseball include Dual Bowman Prospects Autographs (/25), All-American Game Autographs (/199), 1990 Bowman Buyback Autographs, and an Ultimate Autograph Book Cards (/10).

Inserts

2020 Bowman Baseball inserts dig deeper into prospects and prospecting.

Bowman Scouts’ Top 100 offer a new countdown for the game’s best names, offering rankings and player insight. Base versions land 1:4 hobby packs. Select cards also have Autograph Refractor (/50) and Autograph Superfractor (1/1) versions.

International players get the spotlight in Spanning the Globe (1:6).

2020 Bowman Baseball Spanning the Globe

Rookie of the Year Favorites try to predict which first-year players will make the biggest impact. Autographs (/150) are randomly inserted in hobby and hobby jumbo packs as well as additional Gold Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/5) and Superfractors (1/1).

Hidden Finds (1:24) looks at players who went unheralded in the draft, falling to the late rounds, but have emerged as baseball stars. Autograph versions have 99 copies each along with Orange Refractor (/25), Red Refractor (/5) and Superfractor (1/1) parallels.

Talent Pipeline (1:12) returns for another year, spotlighting a player from the various ranks of a team’s minor league system.

For some it might be hard to believe that it has been 30 years since Frank Thomas, Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker and John Olerud made their first appearances on Bowman baseball cards. 1990 Bowman Baseball inserts bring back the design and give it not only a Chrome makeover, but includes current players and prospects. Autograph Refractors and Autograph Superfractors are available for some cards.

All six of these inserts are done with Chrome stock and have a handful of parallels: Atomic Refractors (/150), Gold Refractors (/50), hobby-exclusive Orange Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/5) and Superfractors (1/1). All except Hidden Finds also have Green Refractors (/99) that are only in retail packs.

2020 Bowman Baseball cards at a glance:

Cards per pack: Hobby – 10, Hobby Jumbo – 32, Retail – 12, Retail Gravity Feed – 12, Retail Value Blasters – 12, Retail Value Packs – 29, Retail Fat Packs – 19
Packs per box: Hobby – 24, Hobby Jumbo – 12, Retail – 24, Retail Gravity Feed – 36, Retail Value Blasters – 6
Boxes per case: Hobby – 12, Hobby Jumbo – 8, Retail – 12, Retail Gravity Feed – 6, Retail Value Blasters – 40
Set size: 100 cards
Release date: April 15, 2020

What to expect in a hobby box:

  • Autographs – 1
  • 1990 Bowman – 3
  • Bowman Scouts’ Top 100 – 6
  • Hidden Finds – 1
  • Rookie of the Year Favorites – 3
  • Spanning the Globe – 4
  • Talent Pipeline – 2
  • Atomic Refractors – 1

The full 2020 Bowman Baseball checklist and team set lists will be added as soon as they’re available, likely shortly before the set arrives.

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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5 comments

  1. Randy Johnson 4 November, 2019 at 14:51

    I always love Bowman. I’m a Tigers fan and pulled a Casey Mize auto out of my only blaster of 2019 Bowman last year.

  2. Kerry Orton 5 November, 2019 at 12:48

    All those who hate borders can rejoice finally, but not for me…looks like I will have to skip the base and just go after the inserts like Top 100.

  3. Sean Clancy 5 November, 2019 at 14:41

    Looks as if they have the 1st Bowman on Witt card, probably safe to assume he wont be in the 2019 Bowman Draft set then.

    • Ryan Cracknell 5 November, 2019 at 17:14

      @Sean – Possible, but these are digital mock-ups at this point. Last couple of years would suggest that but nothing’s official until it’s official.

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