2007 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects and Topps 52

What I pulled (Bowman)--

Inserts and Parallels:
A-Rod Road to 500 - 433, 441
Refractors - Richard Lucas, Michael Moustakas
Blue Refractor - Klye Lotzkar (#82/199)

X-Fractor - Justin Jackson (#129/225)

What I pulled (Topps)--

Inserts and Parallels:
A-Rod Road to 500 - 500
Dynamic Duos - Eric Patterson/Felix Pie, Tim Lincecum/Nate Schierholtz, Joe Smith/Carlos Gomez, Justin Upton/Mark
Black Backs - Homer Bailey, Chase Wright, Jensen Lewis
Veteran Flashbacks - Curt Schilling, Carlos Delgado, Francisco Cordero, Jorge Posada, Travis Hafner
Chrome (#ed to 1952) - Jailen Peguero, Michael Bourn, Miguel Montero, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Alexi Casilla
Refractors (#ed to 552) - Matt Chico, Andy Sonnanstine
Flashback Chrome (#ed to 1952) - Jimmy Rollins, Curt Schilling
Flashback Refractor (#ed to 552) - Paul LoDuca

Base - Darren Clarke, Brian Barden

I decided to review these two sets together, since there are so many similarities between them. Yes, there are some major
fundamental differences, but when it gets down to it, both of these sets are about one thing. Rookie Cards.

Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects is annually one of the most anticipated sets of the year, featuring
many of the top names in the 2007 Draft, as well as the trading card debut of some of the game's biggest
prospects. The set is designed, as in past years, the same as the regular issue Bowman set. That means
a basic change this year, with white framed Prospect cards, rather than the traditional black.

Each pack comes with seven cards - for regular, two chrome and one thick gold card. AS always, there are
numerous colorful parallels, refractors and X-fractors, many of which carry numbering that dwindles all the
way down to the rare 1-of-1 Superfractors. Of course, there is an autograph in every box, and there are even
some relics out there, too.

The weakness of last year's set centered around player selection, given the MLBPA's new rules. Those
rules are starting to work themselves out, and this year's player selection is a little better (and will most likely improve each
year going forward). The strength of this product, of course, is the type of collector known as a "prospector", who attempts to
collect multiple cards of some of the biggest potential future stars, names this year that include David Price, Michael
Moustakas and others. This is NOT a set for anyone, as the only familiar names are the green-framed rookie cards that
appear. The focus is on the prospects, though.

If Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects isn't for you, Topps 52 might be. This set features every player that
made his major league debut in 2007, all on the traditional 1952 card design and all featuring the Rookie
Card logo on the card. This product made its debut last year, to solid reviews. So, why mess with success.

With a concept this simple, bells and whistles are not really necessary. There are some, however, such as
veteran flashbacks and chrome. The value, however, is in the autographs, which fall three per box
(unfortunately, I came up one short in my box). Many of the biggest MLB rookies have signed cards, but
there are also many players who have had nothing more than a cup of coffee as part of the autograph
checklist, as well, so the chances are good you will have not heard of the players you pull. There are also
some rare ticket stub relics inserted from some player's debut games, which fall around one per case.

Both of these products are geared towards the new faces in the game, which makes them a very specialized purchase. There
are no Albert Pujols cards out there, just cards of some potential superstars. If that is the kind of product you like, though, you
can't go wrong either way....................

Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects: B
Topps 52: B+