2021 Bowman Chrome Baseball will offer three distinct options for collectors when it is released in late September. The hobby box and an autograph-only HTA box are back, but this year there is a hobby Lite box that does not promise any hits.
The hobby box will contain two mini-boxes, with six packs in each. Every pack will have five cards, including three base and two prospect cards. Topps is promising two autograph cards per box.
Meanwhile, the HTA box will have one pack, with three autographs in each, while the Lite box will have 10 packs, with five cards to a pack.
As usual, the Bowman line specializes in prospects, although the base set of 250 base cards will also feature rookies and veterans. Parallel refractors will be plentiful, with several new ones debuting in 2021.
For prospects, Shimmer Refractor parallels will fall once in every 12 hobby packs. A Refractor parallel will be numbered to 499. The new refractor parallels are Speckle (numbered to 299), Purple Shimmer (250), Fuchsia (199), Fuchsia Shimmer (199), Aqua (125), Green Shimmer (99) and Yellow (75). Returning parallels include Purple (numbered to 250), Blue (150), Green (99), Green Shimmer (99), Gold (50), Gold Shimmer (50), Orange (25), Orange Shimmer (25), Red (5), Red Shimmer (5), Black (1/1) and SuperFractor (1/1). There’s a Black & White Mini Diamond parallel falling in every other Hobby Lite pack.
In the base set, Refractor parallels will be numbered to 499. Other parallels include Purple (250), Fuchsia (250), Blue (150), Green (99), Yellow (75), Gold (50), Orange (25), Red (5) and SuperFractor (1/1).
Insert cards will feature the debut of 2020 Summer Camp, which focuses on stars of the future who excelled last summer. Refractor parallels include Atomic (numbered to 150), Orange (25) and SuperFractor (1/1). There will also be a short-print card, and a 1/1 SuperFractor parallel.
Dawn of Glory, which focuses on prospects, is back for the second straight year. Refractor parallels include Atomic (numbered to 150), Orange (25) and a 1/1 SuperFractor.
The Hobby Lite boxes will have two new inserts. The 40-Man Futures notes those prospects who are moving closer to making their major league debuts. These cards will fall once in every three packs and have refractor parallels, too: Atomic (numbered to 150), Orange (25) and SuperFractor (1/1).
A tougher insert will be Bowman Ascensions, a case hit. The design for this insert features Tyson Beck, a digital artist and graphic designer who worked on Topps Project 2020 and Project 70. The cards will showcase those prospects and rookies who have distinguished themselves. Parallel refractors can be found in Orange (25) and SuperFractor (1/1).
Autographs for the 2021 Bowman Chrome set lead off with the 1st Bowman cards, a staple of the set with on-card signatures. Collectors who buy a hobby box will be able to find refractor parallels for prospects, including Refractor (numbered to 499), the new Speckle (299), Purple (250), Blue (150), the new Atomic (100), Green (99), Yellow (75, also new), Gold (50), Orange and Orange Shimmer (both new and hobby-only, numbered to 25), Red (5), Red Shimmer (making its debut and limited to 5) and SuperFractor (1/1). HTA box Refractor exclusives include HTA Choice (150), Green Atomic (99), Gold Shimmer (50), Wave Orange (25), Wave Red (5) and 1/1 Black Mojo.
The Black & White Mini Diamond cards that are Lite box exclusives also have autograph parallels that will be scarce.
Rookie Autographs will also have a variety of parallel refractor cards, including Refractor numbered to 499, Blue (150), Green (99), Gold (50), Orange (25, a hobby exclusive), Red (5) and SuperFractor (1/1).
Scarcer signature cards will include Prime Chrome Signatures, numbered to 50 and including a 1/1 SuperFractor parallel; Dawn of Glory Autographs, which will have varied numbering and parallel refractors in Orange (25) and SuperFractor (1/1).
The 40-Man Futures Autographs will debut and will be numbered to 99, with an Orange Refractor numbered to 25 and a 1/1 SuperFractor. The 2020 Summer Camp Autographs will be varied in its numbering but will also have a 1/1 SuperFractor parallel. A short-print autograph will be numbered to 100.
The scarce Bowman Ascensions Autographs will have varied numbers and a 1/1 SuperFractor, while All-American Game Autographs also will have varied numbering.
Relics and Autograph Relics
2021 Bowman Chrome will also combine cards that contain autographs and memorabilia. The Chrome Auto Relics will have varied numbering and will have Gold Refractor parallels (numbered to 50), a hobby-exclusive Orange Refractor parallel (25), and a 1/1 SuperFractor.
AFL Flashback Relics are solely memorabilia cards. There are hobby-exclusive refractors in Orange (25) and SuperFractor (1/1). There will also be autographed version, along with a 1/1 SuperFractor parallel.
About Bob D’Angelo
Bob has been a sportswriter and copy editor for more than 35 years and a blogger for a decade. He is celebrating his 50th year of card collecting, and still counts his 1965 Topps Mickey Mantle as his favorite. You can reach him at [email protected].