Bowman is not meant for me. I try to say that every time I mention Bowman because I'm sure there is some Bowman lover reading me bashing on his favorite product who is saying over and over "BOWMAN IS NOT FOR YOU! QUIT BITCHING!!!!"
So, just so you know, I know that Bowman is not for me.
I know this because of the Scott Van Slyke card here.
I received this card way back in one of my first blog trades almost four years ago. I believe it was from Dinged Corners. They liked to send wacky photos like this and this is a wacky one.
Van Slyke is the son of former Pirates outfielder, the wacky Andy Van Slyke, and I've said before that I'm convinced Bowman only printed a card of Scott so they could use the photo here. He wasn't considered a big prospect at the time, which is evidenced by the back of the card in which the first line of his resume says "Placed sixth on Great Lakes roster in 2007 with 89 hits."
Placed sixth. In hits. On a Low Class A team.
A proud moment for him to be sure, but not something someone who is used to collecting cards of major league players wants to read on the back of a baseball card.
These cards of Van Slyke appeared in one of the 2008 Bowman sets, a pack of which I never bought.
That's the way it almost always goes. Unless I'm in some sort of weird, pack-buying junkie frenzy, I can avoid Bowman as if I'm looking at doilies or drapes or HGTV. It doesn't even register.
I need a bigger return on my investment. If I'm buying a pack, I like to have heard of all the players in the pack. And, even more importantly, I want to be assured that all the players in the pack are or will be major league baseball players.
Otherwise, it's a waste of money.
All of these Van Slyke cards came in trades, and there's Van Slyke still balancing that helmet.
He found his swing somewhere in Double A and started hitting. Last season, he was named the Minor League Position Player of the Year.
And then, yesterday, he was called up by the Dodgers after Juan Rivera went on the disabled list. In his first at-bat, he broke his bat hitting an RBI single up the middle against the Giants. It was the first time a Dodger had driven in a run in his first major league at-bat in 51 years.
Van Slyke had made it. Someone who I never thought would make it, who was just one of those "ha, ha, look at this, I have FOUR Bowman cards of this guy and he never made it" had actually made it.
Good for him.
I suppose this is what Bowman collectors live for, some player who nobody knows, who is automatically discounted, who ends up actually playing in a big league game.
But for me, I can't be waiting four years for something that might happen. Out of all the Bowman Dodgers prospects from the 2008 set that I have, Van Slyke is only the second who has made it with the Dodgers. Dee Gordon (then known as Devaris Strange-Gordon) is the other.
Wesley Wright made it with the Astros. Bryan Morris is in Triple A with the Pirates. Pedro Baez is in Double A with the Dodgers. Jaime Pedroza was released last year. Brian Mathews has been out of pro ball since 2009.
I've seen a lot of posts about 2012 Bowman this week.
It's gotten me a little curious, but not much. I don't even know if it's on a store shelf where I live yet. I have to take my daughter to Target later today, so I'll find out then.
It's possible I may even buy a pack of the stuff that I can avoid so easily.
But whatever prospects come out of that pack, I know I'm not holding on for four years hoping they make it.
I don't have time to look up projections and scouting reports and calendars of 2016. I'm a busy guy, you know.
But congrats, Scott. May there be many more hits against the Giants to come.
Oh, and it's not "bitching." It's "constructive criticism."