Card number: 18
It is no secret that I've never been a big fan of the Bowman brand. The 1996 Bowman set is a perfect example of why Bowman generally doesn't appeal to me. Let's start with the back of the card. The team-by-team breakdown of statistics is (ultimately) useless since the sample size for each team is way too small to make meaningful conclusions. For example, does Larkin's two home runs and 9 RBIs against the Padres mean that he has the Padres' so-called number OR does it mean he had a good game (or two) against some pretty crappy Padres' pitchers that the Reds happened to face in 1995? Without doing independent research, we have no way of knowing - and thus the knock on the team-by-team breakdown.
The front of the card isn't without problems as well. For starters, the image isn't a very good one...Larkin looks off balance and limp wristed. The Reds' team logo is way too small for the corner of the card and the broken off triangle at the bottom of the card looks terrible since the player name goes over the break line. This card looks like something that a kid who just got MS Paint would design in about 30 minutes...surely Topps could have done better!
One more thing. Look where the card number is on the back of the card.
That alone would be enough for me to NEVER bother to try and collect the set! I'm perfectly content to have the lone Larkin base card from the set and call it good. There is also a lone parallel set for the 1996 Bowman which I also own (but as of the time of this post I have not yet got around to writing about for the blog).
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