The Book Value of Birth Date: Max Kepler's 2010 Bowman Chrome Error

The Book Value of Birth Date: Max Kepler’s 2010 Bowman Chrome Error

2010BCKepler ImageWhen it comes to Bowman Chrome Prospect Cards and Autographs, the age of a prospect is a big deal. After recently ripping a box of 2010 Bowman Chrome, I pulled a refractor auto featuring Twins Outfield prospect Max Kepler. As a prospect junky, I like to read the back of every Bowman Chrome Prospect card I pull. This process led me to the discovery that Kepler's listed age is off by a full decade.

Several years back, the Twins made a concerted effort to scout European baseball prospects in hopes of finding a hidden gem. This led the Twins to the doorstep of Maximilian Kepler-Rozycki, a 16-year old German outfielder with a world of potential. The Twins ended up giving Kepler an $800,000 signing bonus, which stands as the largest ever given to a European prospect. Suffice it to say, many scouts around the league believe that the Twins may have found a diamond in the rough in the 5-tooler from Stuttgart, Germany.

When sifting through Bowman Chrome, it's common place for collectors to use birth date as a means of determining the potential value of a prospect's cards. In 2010 Bowman Chrome, Max Kepler's birth date is listed as 2/10/83 rather than his actual birth date of 2/10/93.


A 27-year old prospect with 140 career minor league at-bats in the Gulf Coast League would make for one of the worst autographs in 2010 Bowman Chrome. On the other hand a 17-year old prospect with 140 career minor league at-bats with an intriguing back story and 5-tool skill set makes for an infinitely more intriguing and valuable card.

Although annoying, the error could lead to some great eBay deals on Kepler cards, collectors unfamiliar with the Twins' 5-tool European import are likely to dump his cards believing he is a 27-year old prospect who is at least 3-5 years away the majors.

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2013 Bowman Platinum Blue Refractor Autograph Auto Max Kepler RC 74 199 Twins
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Max Kepler signed 2011 Topps Heritage Minors TWINS auto
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2013 Bowman Platinum Auto Blue Refractor - Max Kepler BPAP-MK 22 199
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2011 Tri Star Pursuit Official Autograph Blue Auto #58 Max Kepler RC 38 50
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MAX KEPLER 2013 Topps Heritage Minors Rookie Auto Autograph Card
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2013 Platinum Auto MAX KEPLER Autograph Refractor Rookie TWINS!!!!

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Brett is a former contributor to The Cardboard Connection.

User Comments

  1. Ha! Very interesting. I got his blue refractor auto in the box that I broke, too. Was planning on holding on to it regardless since I collect Twins, but I was actually unaware that he was so young. Cool.

  2. This may not even be relevant, but 2009 Bowman featured Aroldis Chapman in two sets. The birth dates don’t match. I just wonder if Topps had to speculate a date of birth for Chapman. It may have been a passport issue since he defected. i could ramble on about Castro, Cuban baseball, and the trade embargo; however, this a card blog.

  3. @Phillip Whiteside: that’s a good point about the Aroldis Chapman birth date.

  4. If you look at Liam Hendriks auto, his name is spelled HendriCks which is wrong. On his non auto cards it is spelled the correct way Hendriks.

  5. I don’t know why I looked the time I did, I do tend to read the back of Bowman Prospect cards. Mainly because I like prospecting, but it also lends to the style of fantasy baseball I play. The Chapman cards I have have conflicting dates. One of those errors that was not corrected because Bowman put out so much last year with the World Baseball Classic.

  6. @Vessie: I don’t understand why they don’t just do the same thing videogames do and have random fans test their products before they release. Give anyone of us 3-boxes, a computer and 5 hours and there would be no errors.

  7. @Brett Sure the companies could do some sort of “Beta” test, but can you imagine the people that would abuse that power? eBay would flood with overpriced single hits, and the standard “regular” collector would be at a disadvantage and would be irate.

  8. @Nicholas Arvidson: Yeah, but I am sure there’s a way Topps could regulate it by paying collectors money to do it and not let them keep the cards.

  9. Either that or just they could just pay more employees to establish a better quality control department. I just hate opening a pack and seeing it insanely off center or having centering issues.

  10. @Nicholas Arvidson: Yeah, there’s nothing worse than opening a “doomed” box of chrome in which the majority of the cards came off the factory line off-centered.

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