1989 BOWMAN BASEBALL CARDS 220

The 1989 Bowman baseball card set was the 31st annual release by Topps’ Bowman brand and featured cards of Major League Baseball players and prospects. The set totaled 528 cards including base rookie and star cards, veteran stars, prospects, managers, Checklists and more.

Some key details about the 1989 Bowman set:

Design featured team logo on left and player portrait on right with stats on bottom. Similar to 1988 Bowman set.
Distribution was through wax packs, racks and vending machines.
Rosters included all Major League players as well as top prospects.
Rookie cards featured for future Hall of Famers Barry Larkin, Barry Sanders and Ken Griffey Jr. among others.
Serial numbering was B1 through B528.
Card size was 2-5/8 inches by 3-5/8 inches, standard for the time.

Card #220 featured outfield prospect Brian L. Hunter of the California Angels organization. Some additional details on this specific card:

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Front of card showed Hunter in an Angels uniform with team logo on left and individual photo on right.
Below the photo listed his name, team, position and stats from 1988 minor league season: .279 BA, 6 HR, 40 RBI playing for the Quad Cities Angels (A).
Back of card provided a brief biography of Hunter noting he was drafted by the Angels in the 2nd round of the 1987 MLB draft out of Long Beach State University.
At time of card printing, Hunter was 21 years old (DOB: August 16, 1967) and batted/threw left-handed.
Stats block detailed his progress through the Angels’ farm system from 1987-1988 including batting average, home runs, RBI and stolen bases at each minor league level.
Also included were Hunter’s height (6’1″), weight (180 lbs) and hometown of Compton, California.

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While not a true “prospect” card due to limited upside, #220 provides an interesting snapshot of a journeyman outfielder in the Angels system during the late 1980s. Brian Hunter spent parts of 7 seasons in MLB between 1991-1997 primarily as a reserve outfielder and pinch hitter. He batted .247 in 390 career games with 24 home runs and 102 RBI.

Hunter bounced between 5 different organizations and also played a season in Japan before retiring. While never a star, he achieved his boyhood dream of playing in the majors after being selected in the draft out of college. Card #220 captured Hunter during what was likely his best season in the minors before a cup of coffee in the bigs starting in 1991 with California.

The late 1980s Angels farm system that developed Hunter also produced stars like J.T. Snow, Garret Anderson, and Jim Edmonds. But Hunter’s prospects card serves as a reminder that for every future All-Star, there were many more players whose talents fell just short of sustained MLB success. Card collectors at the time could not have predicted Hunter’s journeyman career path based solely on the glimpses of promise shown on his ’89 Bowman issue.

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Overall the 1989 Bowman set remains a favorite of collectors for its star rookie cards and snapshots of prospects both famous and forgotten and continues to attract new fans decades later. While relatively common in the vintage baseball card market, examples of cards like #220 featuring Brian Hunter remind us of the uncertainty of prospect progression and how one card captured one player’s hope and ambition at a single moment in time in the quest to reach the major leagues.

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