Thursday, November 12, 2009

1953 Bowman Baseball Card set

1953 Bowman Color Wax Wrapper
The 1953 Bowman Baseball Card set was Bowman Gum’s answer to Topps Giant Sized cards from 1952.  The 1953 Bowman Baseball Cards, with their beautiful color images are my personal favorite.  No names, captions or team logos – just great pictures.  1953 Bowman cards were a great leap ahead in the evolution of baseball cards and demonstrated the result of a competitive marketplace.

The 1953 Bowman Baseball Cards feature the multi-player cards and the first action shot - #33 Pee Wee Reese.  The Musial card is his last card until 1958.  The notable missing stars are Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays, who were under contract to Topps, and Ted Williams, who was flying jets in Korea.

There were 160 cards in the 1953 Bowman set and rumor has it that the company spent too much money producing the cards.  In response, the last 64 cards were issued in the form of the 1953 Bowman Black & White Baseball Card set.  Because of the lack of stars and color, the Black & White set is the far less popular of the two sets.

The 1953 Bowman baseball card set was the most innovative card of it's day.  The photography is beautiful and so well staged.  The pictures seem to fit the players' persona.  Examples include: #9 Rizzuto bunting, #81 Country Slaughter leaning on his bats, #32 Musial in the dugout, #59 the graceful swing of the Mick, #121 Berra with his glove and mask, #62 the Muscles of Big Klu, and the multi-player shots #93 of Martin & Rizzuto and #44 Berra, Bauer & Mantle.

Also unique about these cards is that you do not see the images used in other years, as was the case of many of the Topps Cards of the 1950’s and 1960’s.  This is my favorite set of all-time.  Please vote for your favorite card and let us know what you think.

In addition to the original cards, both the 1953 Bowman Baseball Card Reprint set and 1953 Bowman Black & White Baseball Card Reprint set are available online at Dean’s Cards.