The Basics

When purchasing a modern baseball card, it is important to understand the many variations. A single player will easily have had hundreds of cards of himself printed by his 2nd year.

Kris Bryant

The picture above shows a Bowman paper card in the upper left corner, a Bowman Chrome card in the upper right, and a Bowman Chrome Refractor on the bottom. The refractor costs the most, Chrome would cost less, and paper would be the least valuable of the three. This is important to know to avoid overpaying for a card.

What It Means

To increase value in a card, Bowman has created a new “technology” that gives a card a gloss appeal for folks looking to purchase a modern baseball card. You can tell by the rainbow shine and reflection that the refractor and chrome gives off.

1st Bowman


When purchasing Bowman products, I highly recommend purchasing cards with the label 1st Bowman as seen on the upper left corner of this Kyle Schwarber card. These are the first printed Bowman cards of a player and are more valuable than the cards of the years printed later.

Brand Matters


The card above is a Topps Chrome Carlos Correa. When purchasing a card, buy from a reputable brand such as Bowman or Topps to retain the most value. This is not to say that other brands are worthless, the two mentioned are just safer bets.

Rookie Card

Something I’ve noticed about modern cards are the Rookie Card emblem as seen on the bottom left hand corner of the Carlos Correa card above. This is important when choosing which cards to purchase. Rookie cards tend to retain the most value and in my opinion are cards to hold onto for the long run.


Aside from the demand of a card driving its price up, the second most important factor of a card’s value is the condition. Before buying a card, be sure the seller notes the condition and buy cards that are near mint to mint plus condition.