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.


  1. The 1953 Bowman Baseball Set [colored or b&w] is a very nice set indeed. My biggest problem is that a great deal of these cards do not have 'centered' photography. Look at Eddie Yost or Harry Chiti's cards for example. I know most of the cards photos were shot at Yankee Stadium or the Polo Grounds and the one's done by the Yankee Stadium photographer show
    the over-hanging facade quite often. Many have lots of sky showing above the players heads also. It is still a super effort for the time it was done.
    There are some very, very nice cards and my favorite from this set is the #99 - Warren Spahn. I am prejudice because I am a life long Braves fan, but those uniforms with the colors, piping, Indian Head on the sleeve and numbers under the logo on the front of the uniform, you just have to know how great they were, especially in person, not just on baseball cards. While teams like the Cardinals and Phillies looked great for the first third of a season, once they have been washed up so often and faded from the sun, they were as bland as the Browns of Senators.
    My favorite baseball card issue is a toss up between the 1963 or 1967 Topps. I cannot pin point why, I just think one of those would get my vote.
    Thanx for the survey, hoping you had good response and I will have an order for you next week some time.
    Sorry this was so long.
    Take care and play safe......Johnny [Go Hawkeyes!]

  2. Hi Johnny:

    Great comment about the Phillies and Cards uniforms. I never thought about it, but that make sense.

    Take Care,


  3. I voted for Reese, but that's only because I think it's the best of that lot. My top 5 are actually very different.
    Roy Campanella
    Eddie Mathews
    Warren Spahn
    Minnie Minoso
    Tie: Rizzuto and Ashburn

  4. Wow, Stan Musual higher than Reese? Have you not looked at the image itself? The Reese is not only by far the best card of this set, its the best card of any set, ever.