1997 Bowman’s Best Baseball Mirror Image Identification Guide

While we’ve discussed this set before, this conversation is positioned as an educational piece on the six different versions of these cards. 1997 was a great year for the hobby. There were lots of products and tons of active future Hall of Fame superstars. It was a good time to be a baseball fan. 1997 was also the year that the fourth installment of Bowman’s Best was released. This set featured an interesting and somewhat peculiar Mirror Image insert set. What makes this set to intriguing is that each card in the set comes in two different forms, each with three different parallels for a total of six unique cards per player featured. Let’s have a look at what we’ve got here.

1997 Bowman's Best Mirror Image

1997 Bowman’s Best Mirror Image

The Mirror Image insert features two sides, each featuring two players for a total of four players depicted on each card. This version showcases the veteran as the main photo and the rookie as the corner photo. There are three parallels:

  • Base: These were inserted at a rate of 1:48
  • Refractor: These were inserted at a rate of 1:96
  • Atomic Refractor: These were inserted at a rate of 1:192
1997 Bowman's Best Mirror Image Inverted

1997 Bowman’s Best Mirror Image Inverted

The Mirror Image Inverted insert is the same card but depicts the rookie as the main photo and the veteran as the corner photo. These are much harder to find and most people often times don’t even realize they have them. Each of the three parallels has an unstated insertion ratio.

It took me a really long time to track down the three inverted parallels. I can remember being surprised at how difficult these were to find, especially the atomic refractor.


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