End of the line for Bowman Heritage Baseball

When a card company discontinues a product line, it’s usually because the brand didn’t catch on with collectors. This year marks the final year of Bowman Heritage Baseball, but it’s not a lack of popularity that is putting the brand into retirement. There simply are no “Bowman” designs left to be replicated that haven’t already been utilized.

“It’s been a great run,” said Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi, who emphasized that the popular Topps Heritage series will continue, with no end in sight. “We’d love to keep Bowman Heritage going, but the idea is to put current players in the styles of the vintage cards.” Luraschi added that anything else wouldn’t have been true to the Heritage concept.

The 2007 edition is based on the 1952 Bowman design for the base set, plus a couple of other vintage designs from 1954 – Red Heart Dog Food and Red Man Tobacco. The latter two designs are used for Prospects and Box Loaders, respectively, plus Topps’ exclusive arrangement with Mickey Mantle produces inserts in 2007 Bowman Heritage of The Mick in other vintage Bowman designs (2001-04).

According to Luraschi, Topps came up with the program in 2001, which launched both Heritage issues. “We have been fine-tuning it ever since, in Heritage and in issues like Turkey Red and the Allen & Ginters. People are excited that the images look so close to the originals. We pay a lot of attention to that,” he said.

Topps graphic designers also took a lot of the backgrounds from the original 1952 Bowman issue and used them with the Heritage cards. The 2007 Bowman Heritage product arrived in stores in late November.

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