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The Ultimate Guide To 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball

Bowman’s Best Baseball is one of the most popular and long-running brands in the game. 2023 is no different, with some fun new insert offers, top young players, and guaranteed autograph hits.

But what will collectors find in 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball? What are the hits? What are the release formats? And when does this much-anticipated product drop?

2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball release date & release format

The release date for 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball is scheduled for January 17, 2024 (subject to change).

Hobby boxes of 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball contain two mini boxes that each contain 6 packs (12 packs total). Each hobby pack contains 5 cards per pack. Hobby cases contain 10 hobby boxes per case.

Each hobby box contains four chrome autographs per box. 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball are pre-selling for $300 on average for a hobby box.

2023 Bowman's Best Baseball

Bowmans Best 2023 Baseball base set & design

The base set of 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball consists of 100 cards. This is split into a 70-card set of major leaguers, a mix of veterans and rookies, and a 30-card prospects set. These include cards of several 2023 draft picks.

From a design perspective, these offer a chromium finish and stylized background, reminiscent of prior Chrome releases from Topps and Bowman.

2023 Bowman's Best Baseball

2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball parallels

The Chromium finish of 2023 Bowman’s Best means this is Refractor territory, so there’s a rainbow and beyond of different parallels available. Refractors land one per pack, meaning there’s a lot of color here to enhance the chase.

Parallels include:

  • Refractors – 1 per pack
  • Wave Refractors – 1 per hobby box
  • Mini-Diamond Refractors – /299
  • Purple Refractors – /250
  • Aqua Lava Refractors – /199
  • Blue Refractors – /150
  • Green Refractors – /99
  • Green Mini-Diamond Refractors – /99
  • Gold Lava Refractors – /75
  • Gold Refractors – /50
  • Orange Refractors – /25
  • Red Refractors – /10
  • Red Lava Refractors – /5
  • Superfractors – 1/1

2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball inserts

2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball contains several insert sets, including several “new for 2023” offerings.

1992 Bowman by Randy Johnson is a fun one! It features the design of the iconic 1992 Bowman set, including some of the “casual clothes” shots of draft picks. The photos in the set are taken by Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, who in addition to being an all-time great pitcher, but also an accomplished photographer.

The set consists of 20 cards and is seeded in 1:6 packs. Parallels include Mini-Diamond Refractors, Lava Refractors (/50), and 1/1 Superfractors. New for 2023.

Astral Projections are new for 2023. The 30-card set is seeded 1:6 packs. The entire set can be put together to showcase today’s star in their star map. Parallels include Mini-Diamond Refractors, Lava Refractors (/50), and 1/1 Superfractors.

Shellacked is new for 2023. The set contains 25 cards and is seeded in 1:6 packs. Features the “power-hitting rockstars” of the game who “give an absolute shellacking to incoming baseballs”. Parallels include Mini-Diamond Refractors, Lava Refractors (/50), and 1/1 Superfractors.

Reel to Reel Die-Cut is new for 2023. The 30-card set is seeded in 1:12 packs. This film-inspired set showcases some of the game’s biggest stars. Parallels include Mini-Diamond Refractors, Lava Refractors (/50), and 1/1 Superfractors.

Bowman Masterpieces consists of 12 cards that are seeded in 1:18 packs. These have designs inspired by the Expressionist era of art history. Parallels include Mini-Diamond Refractors, Lava Refractors (/50), and 1/1 Superfractors.

Him is also new for 2023. The set consists of 15 cards, and are seeded a tough 1:192 packs (or one every two cases).

The theme? I’ll let Topps explain: “These top-tier talents define being THE guys to get the job done when the games on the line. These players are HIM!” Lava Refractors (/50), and 1/1 Superfractors parallels also are available.

2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball autographs

With four autographs per hobby box, ink is a big part of the appeal of 2023 Bowman’s Best. A variety of autograph offerings are available for the breaking delight of collectors.

Best of 2023 Autographs offers the largest autograph set, with 103 cards, and are seeded 1:6 packs. The subjects are mostly prospects and minor leaguers, although a few rookies are in the mix, as well.

Parallels include:

  • Refractors
  • Blue Refractors – /150
  • Green Refractors – /99
  • Gold Lava Refractors – /75
  • Gold Refractors – /50
  • Mini-Diamond Refractors – /25
  • Red Refractors – /10
  • Red Lava Refractors – /5
  • Printing Plates – 1/1
  • Superfractors – 1/1

Dual Autographs are numbered out of 25 copies and the checklist consists of 10 pairings of some of the top prospects in the game. Atomic Refractor (/10) and 1/1 SuperFractor are the two parallel offerings.

Family Tree Dual Autographs consists of four cards and are seeded a very tough 1:6,312 packs. These offer autographs of top prospects with fathers who have played professional ball. Varying serial numbers. Atomic Refractor (/10) and 1/1 SuperFractor are the two parallel offerings.

Family Tree Triple Autographs consists of a single card featuring the Acuna family, headlined by Ronald Acuna Jr. Seeded 1:24,743 packs. Atomic Refractor (/10) and 1/1 SuperFractor are the two parallel offerings.

Him Autographs Red Lava Refractors offers 12 Red Refractor auto versions from the Him insert set. Inserted at a tough 1:5,242 packs.

1992 Bowman by Randy Johnson, Astral Projections Autographs, Bowman Masterpieces Autographs, Reel to Reel Die-Cut Autographs, Shellacked Autographs bring the ink to select subjects from the insert sets. Parallels include Lava Refractors (/50), Mini-Diamond Refractors (/25), and 1/1 Superfractors.

2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball value

2023 Bowman’s Best brings the top prospects and young players in the game into the spotlight, with premium chrome and plenty of ink. But are they good candidates to buy and hold unopened? Let’s see what recent comp prices for sealed hobby boxes from the last several years can tell us.

YearRecent Hobby Box Comp Price
2023$300
2022$250
2021$175-250
2020$260-280

The numbers suggest that the boxes at least do a fairly decent job of holding their value, if not necessarily being a set that will go up significantly over the short term. A lot of the potential value here unopened is in the strength of the prospects and rookies included in the set, so keep that in mind.

In terms of singles, what can a look at recent sales of 2022 Bowman’s Best cards in PSA 10 slabs tell us about potential value here? Not surprisingly, the biggest hits were focused on low-population parallel autographs of top young players.

A 1/1 Superfractor autograph of Jordan Lawlor in PSA 9/Auto 10 sold for north of $3,000. Gold Refractors of Jackson Holliday are numbered out of /50 and have sold for $1,000 to up to $3,000. An Atomic Julio Rodriguez auto /25 sold for $1,800.

Elly De La Cruz also had some valuable cards, including a Red Lava auto that is numbered out of 5 fetched around $1,775.

So, there’s potential here for rather valuable hits, especially when you consider some of the best hits probably have not made their way to eBay yet.

Of course, there’s always risk involved when breaking boxes, especially boxes with prospects at their core, but there is potential upside here.

Pros & Cons of 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball

Every product has pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to purchase and break them. What are some of the pros and cons associated with 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball?

Pros:

  • The set is one of the more highly anticipated, high quality releases of the year. It’s one worth looking forward to!
  • There are some really interesting new inserts, some great autographs, and as always a lot of parallels to chase – so a break should be a lot of fun with lots to see.
  • The quality of the prospect and rookie class that appears in the set looks very solid, with a mix of players who had great years in 2023 and up-and-comers.

Cons:

  • The $300 buy-in price is not inconsequential. The price tag is a bit steep for many collectors, and regardless of your collecting budget the price offers a fairly high bar for getting value return on your investment.
  • A 2023 product dropping in mid-January of 2024 makes about as much sense as “seasonal” beers showing up in stores 2-3 months early. Will it dampen excitement about the product?

5 Cards to Watch For in 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball

There are a lot of great cards to chase in 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball. Here are a list of five of our favorites.

5. Bowman Masterpieces Autographs Shohei Ohtani – Any time you can pull an autograph of baseball’s current most popular player, it’s a good day. If it’s limited to 99 copies and has a cool artistic design, that’s a huge bonus. With Ohtani moving across town to the perennial playoff Dodgers, can he and his cards go to even greater heights?

4. Family Tree Dual Autographs Andruw Jones / Druw Jones – Baseball and fathers and sons are kind of a thing. Anyone who’s gotten something in their eye during a viewing of “Field of Dreams” knows this. A combination of Hall of Fame candidate Andruw Jones and top prospect son Druw Jones has a chance to be a special one.

3. Dual Autographs Jackson Holliday / Gunnar Henderson – There are a lot of combos to like on the Dual Autographs checklist, but you have to love this combination of Holliday, baseball’s #1 prospect, and Henderson, an impressive young player in his own right.

2. Family Tree Triple Autographs Ronald Acuña Jr. / Luisangel Acuña / Bryan Acuña – family connections run deep in baseball. Few families are more talented than that of reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuna Jr.

1. Him Autographs Red Lava Refractors Aaron Judge – With a print run of only 10, these are going to be a tough pull. Very few guys are “the guy” to the degree that Judge is with the Yankees.

Final thoughts on Bowman’s Best 2023 Baseball

2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball is sure to be a highly anticipated and much sought-after release, as Bowman’s Best is each year.

The guaranteed autographs, interesting new inserts, and hot prospects are sure to make these a popular break. While the price continues to creep upward, there remains potential upside.

What’s your take on 2023 Bowman’s Best Baseball? Planning to break a box? What are the hits that have you excited? Tell us about it at card_lines on Twitter.

2023 Bowman’s Best checklist

Coming soon! Please check back.

Other recent and upcoming baseball releases

Mike D.

Mike D

Mike D. has collected cards for over 35 years, since he bought his first pack of Topps at the corner store in 1987. His fandom,  collecting interests, and contributions to Cardlines center around baseball in general and the Baseball Hall of Fame specifically.

Mike's collecting focus is centered on graded cards, mostly rookie cards, of Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers. Lately, he's been enjoying dabbling in graded minor league cards. A collector/investor with a "buy and hold" approach, Mike takes the long-term view with his collection.

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