Friday, July 3, 2015

Fantasy Becomes Reality - Some 2015 Bowman Pillow Talk

No, I didn't pull a Kris Bryant super-vallyrian-X-factor-auto card. Sorry to disappoint, but that kind of luck doesn't find me when I open new release packs.

That being said, I had a lot of fun opening up a blaster of 2015 Bowman. I know what you're thinking, "Dude, Ryan has LOST it. He is always raving about vintage and completely trolling modern cards. Now he gives us modern card pack-busting reviews in back-to-back days? WHAT IS LIFE?!?"

Don't worry, I haven't lost my mind - or, at least not that I'm aware of. What I did do was embrace the "do what I want to do" potential of Father's Day a couple weekends ago and it was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be! After getting our two older kids to bed, I kissed my wife on the forehead as she settled in with our newborn and whispered, "I'm off to see Jurassic World. I love you."

You see, pillow talk has always been an area of expertise for me. Sorry ladies, I AM indeed madly in love with my wife - who, by the way, is totally cool for accepting me and all of my geek/collector-tastic tendencies. So, off I went, to go see a summer blockbuster movie by myself that I knew was going to be completely cheesy BUT DIDN'T CARE because I was going to see a movie. By myself. In a theater.

My heart raced as I sped towards the targeted shopping center in my high-performance Camry. Carefully weighted down with two car seats in the back, I made a hairpin turn into the Target parking lot just prior to reaching the theater.

"I'm buying some baseball cards, dammit."

Gypsy Queen had tantalized me for several weeks so I snagged a couple of rack packs. But I wanted luck would have it, I had been adjusting my fantasy baseball lineup earlier that day in the Buy-Buy-Baby parking lot. The minor league prospects from my roster were fresh in my mind, you what happened next was purely an act of impulse.

"Bowman! Bowman! I want SCHWARBER," was the weird rambling that escaped my mouth as I dashed towards the registers. Women & children warranted little regard as I weaved my way to an open register, glancing nervously at my watch to mark time until previews started. It's ALL about the previews, man.

I made the movie (my first 3-D experience) and loved every mouthful of gloriously buttered popcorn as I watched Chris Pratt & Co. avenge the disaster that was Jurassic Park III while falling short of the original movie's excellence. That's okay! I was in Father's Day Nirvana and the joy continued when I returned home to rip open some guilty-pleasure wax. Here were a few that caught my attention:

Nothing beats a Rizzo for my PC!

Okay, maybe a Betances for my PC comes awfully close...

Oooooh, sweet - Yankee prospects! I can lay claim to Luis Severino and Aaron Judge on my fantasy minor league rosters, but I'm glad the Yanks can claim this guy, Jorge Mateo. He is quickly gathering buzz in the Bombers' farm system as a speedster (52 bags as of 6/29) with offensive upside. Batting only .275 with a couple of homers, he is still growing at 20 years of age but has already matured greatly by displaying noteworthy plate discipline and working on his other tools as a ball player.

Wait, there's more?

These Chrome inserts are always nice and I'm ecstatic to add this Greg Bird to my collection. He is on the cusp of joining the Show as the parent club works out a future that is currently clouded with aging stars and rent-a-bats. Their time will eventually come to an end and Bird is a prime candidate to step in as a difference maker despite his season that was interrupted by a stint on the disabled list.

Nelson Gomez was a multi-million dollar international signing for the Yanks. He holds a lot of potential offensive upside and is giving us a glimpse by batting .285 so far this season with five home runs in only 95 at-bats. That translates into some huge power potential, though I am a bit conflicted with his 3B designation alongside my Irish brother, Eric Jagielo. Good problem to have, I suppose.

So there you go, some Bowman fun! I've only lightly dabbled in Bowman for the obvious reason that the set is all about the big prospect "hits" - autographs, colored parallels, etc. Par for the course, I didn't pull any mojo in my blaster. But as a fantasy baseball player who tracks minor league prospects across the league, this set has become a lot of fun for me to rip. I know a lot more of the players than I used to and that adds some meaning and enjoyment to an otherwise gamble-heavy release that my risk-averse collecting approach won't allow me to enjoy.

Plus, I have half a mind to send all of these to my friend, The Lost Collector, so that he can get them autographed for me. He's a hobby badass like that.

Thanks for reading and have a safe 4th of July!



  1. Great post. Glad you got to maximize your Father's Day!

    You hang onto those bowman! Cool that you opened some current wax though. You did well with yanks!