Break – 1990 Bowman


base cards: 388 of 528 – 73.5% complete (116 duplicates)
Art Inserts (1:1): 11 of 11 – 100% (25 duplicates and higher)

Base cards

48 Brian Lane (with gum stain)

84 Orel Hershiser


unnumbered Will Clark – Art Insert (looks just like a former student of mine)


  • collation
    This box was pretty good.  Sure I got some duplicates, but I didn’t pick up a single card in triplicate.  That’s not bad.
  • subsets
    This set doesn’t have any subsets.  Every card looks just like the other.  Lame.  There aren’t even any horizontal cards. The base design itself is very boring.  My biggest gripe is that the name of the player is in too small of a font size.  My 40+-year-old eyes may not be the best, but I know they’re good enough to read a baseball card.  These names are terrible.
  • inserts
    The Art Insert set is kind of cool.  They are very true to the artwork found on Bowman cards from the 1950s.  I normally think about insert sets as rarer than the base set, but these are far more common than base cards.  One box gave three insert sets.


This is definitely junk wax.  This box cost less than $7 shipped (as part of a three-box lot), and I could have maybe done better if I had been patient.  Why is this box so cheap?  Two reasons – lousy product and overproduction.  These are bad cards.  I think the design was meant to be clean, but instead the cards are plain boring.  The backs are also weird with a breakdown of performance by opponent instead of the usual seasonal totals.  For that matter, since the set emphasizes rookies, most of the players have blank stats.

Topps may have figured out a winning formula for Bowman, but the early years were definitely a work in progress.

Other blogs’ takes on 1990 Bowman

A Pack A Day

Junk Wax Gems (tons of cataloged errors and variations)

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