Bowman Made It’s Big Comeback In 1989

The “COMEBACK EDITION!”.  That’s what it is labeled.  After Topps acquired Bowman during the mid-1950s, the Bowman brand of cards disappeared faster than a government discovered UFO.  From 1956 to 1988, you won’t find any Bowman labeled cards.  In 1989, Topps decided to bring Bowman back.  Que AC/DC’s Back In Black.

Over 30 years is a long time to go without a Bowman set.  When it returned, the set resembled 1953 Bowman Color.  Right down to the slightly larger card size.

This Bowman set looks nothing like the prospect/rookie filled products we see today.  It consists of (484) cards.  Only (46) of them are rookies.  The most notable rookie would be of Ken Griffey, Jr.  Gary Sheffield, Tino Martinez, and John Smoltz have rookies in here too.

Topps released this product around the All-Star break.  This allowed them to include rookies which had been called-up, and picture veterans in their new uniforms if they had been traded.  One of the hottest cards to pull at the time wasn’t even a rookie.  Collectors wanted the card of Nolan Ryan in his new Texas Rangers uniform.  Nolan Ryan left the Astros over a contract dispute, and found his way to Texas.  All of the other sets had him with Houston.

Outside of the base set, you’ll find one insert.  This 11-card set features reprints of famous vintage Bowman cards.  On the back of each insert are rules for a contest in which you could win an original version of the card pictured on the front.  The grand prize was a complete set of 1953 Bowman Color.

Complete boxes/sets of 1989 Bowman are readily available and quite affordable.  The high-end Tiffany versions are a different story.  These are limited to 6,000 sets (not a lot for the time), and can cost almost $1,000.

Where Are The Reich Relics?

On January 3, 1993, Frank Reich led the Bills to the largest comeback in NFL history.  At halftime the Bills were losing 35-3 and in the second half Reich led the Bills to a 41-38 victory over the Oilers.

Reich was a rookie for the Bills in 1985, but didn’t get an actual rookie card made until 1989.  His only two rookies can be found in ’89 Topps Traded and ’89 Score Supplemental.  From ’89 to ’97 he had a steady flow of trading cards, but nothing really major.  He went 11 years (’97-’08) without having a card made, until Upper Deck included him in their Masterpieces set.  What surprises me the most is the fact that Reich has no memorabilia or autographed cards.  I would think that leading your team to the greatest comeback in NFL history would stand out to most manufacturers.  Perhaps Reich doesn’t want his relics and autographs floating around?  I guess some athletes are like that.

Right now, Reich is the quarterback coach for the Colts.  His playing career ended in 1998 with the Lions.  I remember when he gave a speech at Cedar Crest High School about his playing time.  For one year I attended the same school as Reich before moving.

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