2021 Bowman Baseball Starts a New Prospecting Season


2021 Bowman Baseball kicks off another season of prospecting. That means another Bowman-Bowman Chrome split, Refractors and, of course, some new entries into the “first Bowman Chrome autograph” arena. Hobby boxes continue to promise one autograph while jumbo HTA boxes deliver three.

2021 Bowman Baseball Checklist Overview

The 100-card base set is one of the few places on the checklist to divert from the prospect focus. Veterans and rookies make up this part of the set.

There’s also the similar but separate Bowman Prospects. A total of 150 minor leaguers from a variety of levels are in the mix.

All Bowman base and Bowman Prospects cards have the following parallels:

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

2021 Bowman Baseball Chrome Prospect Blue Shimmer

The 150 Prospects also get the Bowman Chrome treatment within the same packs. There’s also the traditional rainbow:

  • Refractors – /499
  • Speckle Refractors – /299
  • Purple Refractors – /250
  • Blue Refractors – /150
  • Blue Shimmer Refractors – /150
  • Aqua Refractors – /125 (hobby and HTA only)
  • Aqua Shimmer Refractors – /125 (hobby and HTA 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

On top of these are a couple of additional hobby exclusives. Atomic Refractors are approximately one per box. Select cards also have Prospector’s Special parallels. Numbered to 49, these are die-cut and have a background done to look like a gold nugget. The idea is to further highlight key prospects.

2021 Bowman Baseball Chrome Prospect Prospector's Special


Like any of the three main Bowman lines (along with Bowman Chrome and Bowman Draft), Chrome Prospect Autographs are a cornerstone in 2021 Bowman Baseball. In fact, they’ll be the driving force for many collectors. Once again, on-card signatures are a highlight alongside the simple fact that they’re connected to the Bowman Chrome brand.

2021 Bowman Baseball Chrome Prospect Autograph

Refractors? There are lots:

  • Refractors – /499
  • Speckle Refractors – /299
  • Purple Refractors – /250
  • Blue Refractors – /150
  • Atomic 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

Chrome Rookie Autographs take a similar approach and design, only with players who have made their MLB debuts. The parallel lineup here is a little smaller: Refractors (/499), Blue Refractors (/150), Atomic Refractors (/100), Yellow Refractors (/75), Gold Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25, hobby-exclusive), Red Refractors (/5), Printing Plates (1/1), and Superfractors (1/1).

A couple of spots on the 2021 Bowman Baseball checklist have multi-signature cards: Dual Autographs (/25) and the 2021 Bowman Ultimate Autograph Book Card (/10).

Also in the product is a new batch of All-America Game Autographs (/199), which have some of the earliest signatures from featured prospects, and 1991 Bowman Buyback Autographs.

Additional Inserts

2021 Bowman Baseball has a fair number of additional insert sets and themes to help round out the release. Some are returning themes, some are new. No matter the case, they all offer different ways to looking at up-and-coming players.

Bowman Scouts’ Top 100 (1:4 hobby packs) counts down the year’s best prospects. ROY Favorite (1:8) highlight potential MLB award winners by season’s end. The ranking idea is also in new Positional Promise (1:24) inserts, offering up a top NL and AL prospect for each spot on the field.

Also new is Futurist (1:6), which use a colorful design as its anchor.

Talent Pipeline (1:12) returns, looking at key players from each minor league level for each MLB franchise.

1991 Bowman (1:8) uses the design from the year Chipper Jones and Jim Thome had Rookie Cards. However, this time around, current players are used for the retro-leaning insert.

Each of these insert sets also have Atomic Refractor (/150), Gold Refractor (/50), Orange Refractor (/25, hobby only), Red Refractor (/5) and Superfractor (1/1) parallels. Select cards from Bowman Scouts’ Top 100, Positional Promise, ROY Favorites and 1991 Bowman also have tough autographs and further Refractor parallels.

2021 Bowman Baseball 1991 Bowman Autographs

2021 Bowman Baseball cards at a glance:

Cards per pack: Hobby – 10, HTA – 32
Packs per box: Hobby – 24, HTA – 12
Boxes per case: Hobby – 12, HTA – 8
Set size: 100 cards
Release date: April 14, 2021

What to expect in a hobby box:

  • Autographs – 1
  • 1991 Bowman – 3
  • Bowman Scouts’ Top 100 – 6
  • Futurist – 4
  • Positional Promise – 1
  • ROY Favorites – 3
  • Talent Pipeline – 2
  • Atomic Refractors – 1

What to expect in a HTA box:

  • Autographs – 3

The full 2021 Bowman Baseball checklist and team set lists will be posted as soon as they’re available, likely shortly before the set’s release.


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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  1. Jack Stanton 12 September, 2020 at 06:04

    Any truth to the rumor that the primary Bowman set this story describes will have a series two in 2021?

    • Ryan Cracknell 14 September, 2020 at 23:08

      @Jack – Where did you hear that rumor? Topps is only just starting to announce their 2021 products.

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