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1996 Bowman's Best Football Cards

1996 Bowman’s Best Football Cards

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$150.00

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1996 Bowman's Best Football is a rookie collector's delight, especially those that focus on defensive players. While the rookies are a big draw, the product is most notable as the first instance of Atomic Refractors for football.

The 1996 Bowman's Best Football base set includes 180 cards and features a premium finish. The base design is fairly simple but there is a slight difference among the cards. Veteran players showcase a gold background with silver framing while the rookie cards cards feature the inverse.

There is plenty of top talent in the base set, but Ray Lewis' rookie card is the clear favorite for collectors. While Bowman's Best houses the most popular Ray Lewis rookie card, he is not the only appealing first-year option. Terrell Owens, Eddie George and Marvin Harrison are some of the other top rookie options and a full list can be seen below.

The base cards still hold decent value, but the highest values are found with the Refractor parallels. Each player has both a base Refractor and an Atomic Refractor. Although they are fairly easy to distinguish from the base cards, collectors can find a notation next to the number on the card's back to indicate which version they have. The Atomic Refractors, averaging 1:2 Hobby boxes, have proven to be very popular, especially for Ray Lewis, as the patterned background was a hobby hit. All three versions can be seen below for Ray Lewis.

1996 Bowman's Best Football Base Ray Lewis RC1996 Bowman's Best Football Base Refractor Ray Lewis RC1996 Bowman's Best Football Atomic Refractor Ray Lewis RC

There is also a partial parallel to the base set that covers a majority of the veteran players. A total of 90 cards feature a Super Bowl XXXI logo and were exclusive to a redemption program at the 1997 NFL Experience.

In addition to the base set, 1996 Bowman's Best Football has a handful of inserts that also feature Refractors and Atomic Refractors. Bowman's Best Bets covers rookie players with a design that mimics the appearance of screws. Bowman's Best Cuts includes some of the top stars of the day on a die-cut design. Lastly, Bowman's Best Mirror Images fits four players on one card, with two on the front and two on the back. The players are grouped by position and each card side is devoted to a specific conference.

While sealed boxes do not appear in the same supply as the baseball version, 1996 Bowman's Best Football is not terribly tough to track down. Boxes generally sell in the $100 to $120 range and include 24 packs of six cards. Boxes come with a random card affixed to the front.

Top 1996 Bowman's Best Rookie Cards

Top eBay Listings

1996 Bowman's Best Cuts #BC5 Brett Favre Green Bay Packers Football Card
$6.24

1996 Bowman's Best Cuts #BC5 Brett Favre Green Bay Packers Football Card
$6.24

1996 BOWMANS BEST MIRROR IMAGE FAVRE YOUNG ELWAY BLEDSOE REFRACTOR #2
$18.00

TEDY BRUSCHI PATRIOTS ARIZONA 1996 BOWMANS BEST ROOKIE CARD #162 SHARP
$14.99

BRETT FAVRE 1996 BOWMAN'S BEST REFRACTOR BGS 9 MINT
$39.99

TERRELL OWENS 1996 Bowman's Best RC # 147 San Francisco 49ers Rookie Card
$10.00

NICE 1996 BOWMANS BEST RAY LEWIS REFRACTOR RC ROOKIE RAVENS HOF LB GOAT
$140.00

1996 BOWMAN'S BEST FOOTBALL CARD #175 ZACH THOMAS PSA 10 ROOKIE RC MIAMI DLPHINS
$57.82

1996 Bowman's Best Terrell Owens ROOKIE RC #147 PSA 10 GEM MINT (PWCC)
$20.50

1996 Bowman's Best Ray Lewis ROOKIE RC #164 PSA 9 MINT (PWCC)
$26.00

1996 Bowman's Best Ray Lewis ROOKIE RC #164 PSA 10 GEM MINT (PWCC)
$83.10

1996 BOWMAN'S BEST 135 JERRY RICE PSA 10
$21.99

BRETT FAVRE 1996 BOWMAN'S BEST CUTS DIE CUT BGS GRADED GEM MINT 9.5 POP 3
$69.99

1996 Marvin Harrison Rookie Bowmans Best Card # 165 BECKETT Graded 8.5 NM- MT+
$9.95

1996 Bowman's Best Quad-Emmitt Smith C.Warren E.Rhett C.Martin insert-Cowboys
$7.95

1996 BOWMANS BEST #165 MARVIN HARRISON ROOKIE CARD RC INDIANAPOLIS COLTS MINT
$9.99
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Checklist

1996 Bowman's Best Football Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

PARALLEL CARDS: Refractors, Atomic Refractors
PARTIAL PARALLEL CARDS (90 cards, no RCs): Super Bowl XXXI - exclusive to 1997 NFL Experience
1996 Bowman's Best Football Base Troy Aikman1996 Bowman's Best Football Base Ray Lewis RC
1996 Bowman's Best Football Base Super Bowl Parallel Steve McNair

1 Emmitt Smith
2 Kordell Stewart
3 Mark Chmura
4 Sean Dawkins
5 Steve Young
6 Tamarick Vanover
7 Scott Mitchell
8 Aaron Hayden
9 William Thomas
10 Dan Marino
11 Curtis Conway
12 Steve Atwater
13 Derrick Brooks
14 Rick Mirer
15 Mark Brunell
16 Garrison Hearst
17 Eric Turner
18 Mark Carrier
19 Darnay Scott
20 Steve McNair
21 Jim Everett
22 Wayne Chrebet
23 Ben Coates
24 Harvey Williams
25 Michael Westbrook
26 Kevin Carter
27 Dave Brown
28 Jake Reed
29 Thurman Thomas
30 Jeff George
31 Carnell Lake
32 J.J. Stokes
33 Jay Novacek
34 Brett Perriman
35 Robert Brooks
36 Neil Smith
37 Chris Zorich
38 Micheal Barrow
39 Quentin Coryatt
40 Kerry Collins
41 Aeneas Williams
42 James O.Stewart
43 Warren Moon
44 Willie McGinest
45 Rodney Hampton
46 Jeff Hostetler
47 Darrell Green
48 Warren Sapp
49 Troy Drayton
50 Junior Seau
51 Mike Mamula
52 Antonio Langham
53 Eric Metcalf
54 Adrian Murrell
55 Joey Galloway
56 Anthony Miller
57 Carl Pickens
58 Bruce Smith
59 Merton Hanks
60 Troy Aikman
61 Erik Kramer
62 Tyrone Poole
63 Michael Jackson
64 Rob Moore
65 Marcus Allen
66 Orlando Thomas
67 Dave Meggett
68 Trent Dilfer
69 Herman Moore
70 Brett Favre
71 Blaine Bishop
72 Eric Allen
73 Bernie Parmalee
74 Kyle Brady
75 Terry McDaniel
76 Rodney Peete
77 Yancey Thigpen
78 Stan Humphries
79 Craig Heyward
80 Rashaan Salaam
81 Shannon Sharpe
82 Jim Harbaugh
83 Vinnie Clark
84 Steve Bono
85 Drew Bledsoe
86 Ken Norton
87 Brian Mitchell
88 Hardy Nickerson
89 Todd Lyght
90 Barry Sanders
91 Robert Blackmon
92 Larry Centers
93 Jim Kelly
94 Lamar Lathon
95 Cris Carter
96 Hugh Douglas
97 Michael Strahan
98 Lee Woodall
99 Michael Irvin
100 Marshall Faulk
101 Terance Mathis
102 Eric Zeier
103 Marty Carter
104 Steve Tovar
105 Isaac Bruce
106 Tony Martin
107 Dale Carter
108 Terry Kirby
109 Tyrone Hughes
110 Bryce Paup
111 Errict Rhett
112 Ricky Watters
113 Chris Chandler
114 Edgar Bennett
115 John Elway
116 Sam Mills
117 Seth Joyner
118 Jeff Lageman
119 Chris Calloway
120 Curtis Martin
121 Ken Harvey
122 Eugene Daniel
123 Tim Brown
124 Mo Lewis
125 Jeff Blake
126 Jessie Tuggle
127 Vinny Testaverde
128 Chris Warren
129 Terrell Davis
130 Greg Lloyd
131 Deion Sanders
132 Derrick Thomas
133 Darryll Lewis
134 Reggie White
135 Jerry Rice
136 Tony Banks RC
137 Derrick Mayes RC
138 Leeland McElroy RC
139 Bryan Still RC
140 Tim Biakabutuka RC
141 Rickey Dudley RC
142 Tory James RC
143 Lawyer Milloy RC
144 Mike Ulufale RC
145 Bobby Engram RC
146 Willie Anderson RC
147 Terrell Owens RC
148 Jonathan Ogden RC
149 Darrius Johnson RC
150 Kevin Hardy RC
151 Simeon Rice RC
152 Alex Molden RC
153 Cedric Jones RC
154 Duane Clemons RC
155 Karim Abdul-Jabbar RC
156 Dedric Mathis RC
157 John Michels RC
158 Winslow Oliver RC
159 Stepfret Williams RC
160 Eddie Kennison RC
161 Marcus Coleman RC
162 Tedy Bruschi RC
163 Detron Smith RC
164 Ray Lewis RC
165 Marvin Harrison RC
166 Je'rod Cherry RC
167 Jerris McPhail RC
168 Eric Moulds RC
169 Walt Harris RC
170 Eddie George RC
171 Jermaine Lewis RC
172 Jeff Lewis RC
173 Ray Mickens RC
174 Amani Toomer RC
175 Zach Thomas RC
176 Lawrence Phillips RC
177 John Mobley RC
178 Anthony Dorsett RC
179 DeRon Jenkins RC
180 Keyshawn Johnson RC

Bowman's Best Bets Set Checklist

9 cards. 1:12 hobby packs, 1:20 retail packs.
PARALLEL CARDS: Refractors, Atomic Refractors
1996 Bowman's Best Football Bets Refractor Marvin Harrison

1 Keyshawn Johnson
2 Lawrence Phillips
3 Tim Biakabutuka
4 Eddie George
5 John Mobley
6 Eddie Kennison
7 Marvin Harrison
8 Amani Toomer
9 Bobby Engram

Bowman's Best Cuts Set Checklist

15 cards. 1:24 hobby packs, 1:40 retail packs.
PARALLEL CARDS: Refractors, Atomic Refractors
1996 Bowman's Best Football Cuts Emmitt Smith

1 Dan Marino
2 Emmitt Smith
3 Rashaan Salaam
4 Herman Moore
5 Brett Favre
6 Marshall Faulk
7 John Elway
8 Curtis Martin
9 Deion Sanders
10 Jerry Rice
11 Terrell Davis
12 Kerry Collins
13 Steve Young
14 Troy Aikman
15 Barry Sanders

Bowman's Best Mirror Images Set Checklist

9 cards. 1:48 hobby packs, 1:80 retail packs.
PARALLEL CARDS: Refractors, Atomic Refractors
1996 Bowman's Best Football Mirror Images Refractor Front 1996 Bowman's Best Football Mirror Images Refractor Back

1 Steve Young
Kerry Collins
Dan Marino
Mark Brunell
2 Brett Favre
Elvis Grbac
John Elway
Drew Bledsoe
3 Troy Aikman
Gus Frerotte
Jim Harbaugh
Jeff Blake
4 Emmitt Smith
Errict Rhett
Chris Warren
Curtis Martin
5 Barry Sanders
Rashaan Salaam
Thurman Thomas
Terrell Davis
6 Rodney Hampton
Lawrence Phillips
Marcus Allen
Marshall Faulk
7 Jerry Rice
Isaac Bruce
Tim Brown
Joey Galloway
8 Cris Carter
Curtis Conway
Carl Pickens
Keyshawn Johnson
9 Robert Brooks
Michael Westbrook
Anthony Miller
O.J. McDuffie


Trey Treutel  |  E-Mail Author

Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. In more recent years, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute or Google+.


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