Preview Gallery: 2013 Bowman 1948 box-topper autos

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

For some of you who rip into 2013 Bowman when it arrives on Wednesday, there might be something inside your box that’s rarer then many a Refractor and anything but modern-feeling.

In fact, it’s so different it might warp your Chrome-loving mind.

They’re autographed box-toppers in the style of 1948 Bowman — a no-nonsense, no-frills issue that amounts to a black-and-white photo. (For more on the product, including prelim and final auto/Relic checklists, click here.)

Each and every one of the 100 cards in this Topps release comes autographed — it’s a simple five-card offering with just 20 cards signed per player.

And the player selection? It includes both reigning Rookie of the Year winners — Bryce Harper and Mike Trout — along with three promising prospects: Dylan Bundy, Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton.

Your take on the 1948 Bowman box-toppers

View Results

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.



  1. Nick Mikulicich
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Too bad the Bundy is the only one on-card. But I like it.

  2. Ted
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Except for the Bundy, the stickers just don’t look right. Probably just too small.

  3. David Johnson
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    These would all have looked a million times better if they were all signed ON CARD and not stickers. Especially for these cards, the sticker takes away from the cards simple design and overall eye appeal.

  4. Randy Barcinas
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Great Idea but the sticker Autos are terrible,for as few cards made they should be on card.

  5. Chris
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Stickers? Seriously? I don’t think anyone in the 1948 set would approve of putting a sticker on cards like this.

  6. deez
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    some stickers and some hard signed
    equals #fail

  7. Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    come on stickers that looks like crap topps

  8. Chris Raines
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    the stickers look terrible!!!

  9. Ryan
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    The Bundy looks amazing; but the sticker autos are just pathetic.

  10. Cory Furlong
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I really like this topper. Ode to the classic Bowman. I can see where this might turn some chromies off. Would be a great topper for Bowman Heritage if the powers that be ever bring the series back.

  11. Greg
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Love It, but ditto on the, Hate It, stickered auto’s. Why stickers when they only have to sign 20 each? I don’t get it, but they look classic.

  12. Joe Cecil
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Wow like everyone else WTF are they thinking putting a sticker auto on these. Totally looks ridiculous Topps heres an idea make an appt with the players to come spend a few hours signing or ya maybe send them to the players early enough to give them time to sign and return. Oh wait that makes to much sense,………

  13. David Brewer
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    i love the stickers, you guys keep whining about it, I’ll take it. I think cards with sticker autos look way better than on card.

  14. Jason Taylor
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I’m going to echo what everyone else said. The stickers look absolutely ridiculous on this. It’s almost as if Topps had some extra stickers laying around and developed a product around it. Unfortunately, this is representative of Topps recent idea process. All one needs to do is take a look at the Bundy example to see what this product could have been.

  15. Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the extra hit Topps.

  16. Jason S. Perkins
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Stickers & BLUE Ink … should have ALL been black on card …

  17. chrisolds
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Black ink on black-and-white photos?

  18. Card Opionator
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Yes Chris, black ink looks more natural on a B&W. With the blue they don’t look like ’48, they look more like 68 Deckle Edge. (Those had a blue printed signature)

    Posted May 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Wow, nice card but ugly stickers!!

    If I designed this card and the sticker autos were a later addition I would be offended. The sticker autos take what is a SIMPLE BUT BEAUTIFUL card and turns it into a POORLY DESIGNED AFTERTHOUGHT!

    That’s probably not how it happened, but that’s what the sticker does for the overall look of the card.

    But I do LOVE THE BUNDY!

  20. Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Holographic Foil security sticker autos on a B&W matte product = YUK! I think sticker autos are terrible most of the time, but putting them on a RETRO themed product just……looks……wrong!!!

  21. Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    By the way, any thoughts about an article detailing the numerous problems with Topps’ million Dollar giveaway game???

  22. J.R.
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Does it take a Topps exec more than 30 seconds to figure out what the issue is here? In case it does, let me spell it out for all of you over at Topps who have your heads stuck somewhere:


    This isn’t a debatable topic. If you polled collectors, it would look JUST LIKE the NBA MVP voting! 120 of 121 would say stickers are the bane of their existence and one guy would say the opposite.

    Come on, Topps! You are the godfather of the industry. CHANGE!

  23. chrisolds
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    J.R.: Pick your poison … more damaged cards and redemptions or occasionally stickers?

  24. Joe
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    I normally don’t have a problem with sticker autographs. I understand that they are necessary inorder to keep pricing down. However, this doesn’t look right. You have a jumbosized card with a small sticker autograph for a normal sized card. A big card needs a big auto, sticker or on card. The Bundy auto is awesome. Nice big auto because it is a big card.

  25. Posted May 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    chris do you think this is going to really have any impact on redemption or damaged cards. Occasionally, wrong word, do you think theses guys lose sleep over this.

  26. chrisolds
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Without stickers, there would be more product delays, more damaged cards (inevitable — players aren’t “trained” to handle cards) and, inevitably, more redemptions.

  27. Posted May 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Old argument, I know but: Without stickers, you would know that the player actually handled the card and signed it with his own hand. Not that he signed sheet after sheet of address label-like stickers that were stored and later applied to a product that he never laid hands on. Now, I l would love to get a Bryce Harper auto card of any kind, mind you, but sticking a rainbow holographic shiny foil sticker on a retro themed black and white product is a poor design choice. Might not be “wrong”, but stylistically and artistically it is lacking big-time! Your eye is drawn right to the shiny sticker that looks so out of place.

    Someone up higher commented it looks like they had some extra stickers and slapped them on these cards. Couldn’t agree more.

    To me, just my opinion, but redemption cards, product delays, and dinged real cards (auto or not, I’ve gotten my fair share of dinged cards every year) are issues perhaps of trying to get out too many products-too quickly. I know what’s new sells. I get that. But I’d wait an extra week or two or three (or have the releases spread out a bit more) in order to lessen the stickers, redemptions, and dinged cards.

  28. Todd Warden
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mind the stickers in concept. Better stickers than redemptions any day. Personally, my problem with them is the SIZE of the signature. If I remember correctly, the sticker autos in UD Portraits on their 8x10s were on a larger stickers, and looked much better.

  29. David Brewer
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink


  30. Steve
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Stickers look awful. Topps recreated the 1948 set more effectively in 2001 Bowman Heritage with on-card autographs of legends and current players Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

  31. Joe
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    The concept that the player handled and touched the card is silly because the player handled and touched the sticker sheet as well.

    People need to understand that the card companies mail the cards to the players just like they do with the stickers, to sign. I believe that sticker autos are just as real and authentic as on card autos. So people, STOP GIVING THE IMPRESSION THAT STICKER AUTOGRAPHS MAY NOT BE AUTHENTIC. THEY ARE!!!!!!

    The problem with this box toper is the auto is to small for that jumbo sized card period.

  32. Ilikestickers
    Posted May 9, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Larger stickers please. I prefer the whole set done in stickers. The Bundy looks out of place being the only on card autograph pictured. If I want an on card autograph, I would get it in person.

  33. Posted August 15, 2017 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    I have the Trout signed card. Mine is #1/20!

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