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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Postwar Sportscard Forums > Postwar Baseball Cards Forum (Pre-1980)

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  #1  
Old 02-13-2021, 10:18 AM
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Default 1953 Bowman Color and B&W Card Backs

Have seen discussion here at net54 and other forums about the many card back variations with Topps in the 1950s and 60s. I just finished a set of Bowman color raw, and I notice some of the backs of these cards are lighter in color, slightly more reddish, and some are darker and slightly more brownish gray across the entire set of 160. Looking closely with my 10x loupe, I see it is the card stock itself. I also see it in listings on eBay and other auction sites, but can't say for certain in online images where there are any number of brightness/darkness/contrast possibilities. I believe Bowman made their cards in layers like this: with the front applied or glued somehow to the card stock, and the back printed directly to the card stock, and then the sheets were trimmed. Several questions come to mind. Is this variance in card stock color common in this color set, or perhaps all Bowman cards, similar to Topps? Is it due to how these cards were handled and saved over the decades, and they lightened or darkened due to sunlight, heat, cold, humidity or lack thereof, or what have you? There is no question about authenticity here, I'm not talking about that or bringing it up; the cards are all real, no doubt about it.
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2021, 12:06 AM
Tere1071 Tere1071 is offline
Phil
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I don't have a scientific explanation, but I've noticed that "regular" colored backs tend to be a light tan. I've seen a handful that had very light backs that weren't reprints, but I don't think Bowman used a lighter stock of cardboard for the reverse side of the card.

The difference in color has to do with the darkening or toning of the paper. Much of this could be attributed to exposure to the light. On some Bowmans you'll see the edges where there are streaks of the tan color before it's overtaken by the darker shade. You can also notice toning on the fronts of the card where the borders turn grayish in some cases. In my set, I have a number of cards where the reverse is darker and a handful where the white border on the front has dimmed. That also happens to the 51 and 52 Bowmans where some of the borders have darkened over time.

I've hinted at this, but those of us who have assembled 53 Bowman sets should compare notes and see what we've discovered. I'm interested in finding out about some of the idiosyncrasies in the production run and we have members that have collected this set over many years who have more knowledge than those of us who recently began to assemble it in earnest.
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2021, 04:08 PM
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Thanks, Phil, for answering my question. Thanks for the kind words all along, too.

I can't get anywhere asking about 1953 Bowman, it seems, with anyone other than a select few here on this forum. I did initially when I began back in October. I hope that implies that very few of us have collected them and there is just nothing more to say, and not something that I have either said or not said.

Well, it is a beautiful set of baseball cards, and I now know a lot more about ballplayers in 1953.
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  #4  
Old 02-14-2021, 04:24 PM
Tere1071 Tere1071 is offline
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What I found interesting after returning to the set after having sold my handful in 1980 was how many cards now sell as stars as opposed to way back when- Shantz and Pierce immediately come to mind. I've also learned that certain cards are very difficult to find centered and command a premium when they become available. That wasn't really a concern some 30-40 years ago.

With prices rising I'll have to leave the set alone and live with what I have soon unless I sell the rest of my Topps Heritage sets. The cards I need aren't coming up for sale on this forum, which leaves eBay. I know that some eBay sellers are on this forum, hopefully, I can get a response.
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  #5  
Old 07-13-2021, 11:48 AM
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I started building Bowman sets after Topps sets. Started on them because the 53 Bowman Musial was his favorite card for me. Having done the colored set, I had to do the B&W set as well. In looking at it again after this thread I have only one variation, Bevans card 43, which can be found with a DOB of 1930 or 1950. There are other incorrect and uncorrected bio facts in the B&W set, including the DOB on Casey Stengel's card. Interesting, to me anyway, that Bowman felt the need to correct the Bevan card ( although it was a pretty large error)

Bevan did not appear on a Topps card until 1961, and it was a rookie award card. Weird


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  #6  
Old 07-13-2021, 12:13 PM
G1911 G1911 is online now
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I too have noticed; there appears to be a very light color stock variant, Iíve been calling them white backs vs. cream in my notes. The very light backs are much tougher than the normal cream. Iím not sure if it runs through every series (I still am not sure what the series even are, I suspect 5 series of 32 but nobody seems positive or has brought direct evidence), I will have to go through my set. I do not believe it to be toning but am happy to be shown wrong.

Bowman used different stocks in 1952 1-72 as well, and of course the 1949 1-3, 5-73 seriesí.
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2021, 09:30 AM
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Ted Zanidakis
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Default 1953 BOWMAN cards

Excerpts from my 1953 color BOWMAN (5-page) article, June 1986 BASEBALL CARDS Magazine.



Al Corwin is repeated in two cards in this Color set. I don't understand why ?
Although I noted in my BASEBALL CARDS Magazine story that his birth month is mis-spelled "Recember" in card #126. His card #149 has it corrected (December).

For a major set, such as this one, there are very few errors. One error I know of, is card #159 which claims to be Mickey Vernon. But, actually depicts Floyd Baker.

It is definitely one of my favorite post-WWII sets.

Regarding the Series make-up of this set, I have had (or have seen) 4 of the 5 possible 32-card sheets of this set. The Hi # sheet (cards # 129 - 160) is somewhat
more available than the other sheets. I have not seen a 4th sheet (cards # 97 - 128). It is quite a mystery as to why cards #113 - 128 on this sheet are difficult to
find with respect to cards #97 - 112 ? ?


TED Z

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Last edited by tedzan; 07-15-2021 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Corrected typo.
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2021, 02:02 PM
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I put the entire 53 Bowman set together over the span of just a few months, start to finish. I got a big start on the set by trading a bunch of my duplicate Topps stars (Mantle, Mays, Koufax, etc.) for the 53 Bowman color stars (Mantle, Reese, Musial, etc.). Then I got several big groups, including high numbers, from folks right here on net54. It was really fun putting the set together. All raw cards, with the exception of Smoky Burgess and one other (I forget which one) that were PSA slabbed that I cracked out because I wanted a raw set. Once done, I quickly realized I needed the black & white set to truly make it the entire 53 Bowman set. I just bought the entire black & white set of cards all at once. Then, still not fully satisfied, I had to have the cherry on top, so to speak, by having the BBBBGTM add-on black & white set of stars missing from the 53 black & white set (officially accepted as part of the set).

Now, looking back through my set, and as I noticed as I put the set together, I see two altogether different card backs. One is the usual grayish-brown, and the other is more reddish. It is definite, and not my bad eyesight. It is apparent only in the color cards, not the black & whites. No one has officially stated there are 2 different backs for 53 Bowman color cards, but other collectors of the set have noticed this, including folks here at net54.
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  #9  
Old 07-16-2021, 11:38 AM
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James---I also added the 16 card B&W extension set to my 64 card original
(65 with the 2nd Behan). Am glad to find out you have officially designated the extension as an accepted part of the set. Surely that will cause the value of that set to take off.
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2021, 12:44 PM
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PSA pops don't support the 97-112 SP theory, probably some weird shortage in a major find back in the day in the day led to the idea like the 1967 Topps Brooks Robinson.
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  #11  
Old 07-16-2021, 02:57 PM
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Default 1953 BOWMAN cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by toppcat View Post
PSA pops don't support the 97-112 SP theory, probably some weird shortage in a major find back in the day in the day led to the idea like the 1967 Topps Brooks Robinson.
Hi Dave

Perhaps, I did not clearly state my thoughts regarding the 4th sheet (cards #97 - 128). It has always puzzled me that the first 16 cards (#97 - 112) of the "mysterious" 4th sheet
are comparable in availability to the Low numbers in this set. However, the other 16 cards (#113 - 128) on this 4th sheet are much tougher to find. And in my opinion are tougher
than the High #cards (#129 - 160).

Back in the early 1980's, when I was completing my 1953 set, cards #113 - 128 were definitely the last ones on my want-list. And, especially cards #121 - 128.

Furthermore, the proof of the scarcity of these 16 cards was evident in the following scenario. I lived in Toms River, NJ then. In town was a BB card store owned by Bob O'Leary. He
made a trip to a little town in Mississippi, where he acquired an original collection of approx. 2000 cards (1953-1955 TOPPS and BOWMAN's). It included approx. 250 cards of 1953
BOWMAN. The majority being Color ones and some B/W. Most interesting was that the assortment of the color cards were numbered #113 through #160. Really, there were no Low
number cards in this group. The 32 Hi #'s averaged 6 cards each. The #113 - 128 cards averaged 3 cards each.

Dave....you are an expert on TOPPS and BOWMAN's from that era, can you explain this apparent "split-personality" of the 4th sheet cards ?

Thanks Dave,


Quote:
Originally Posted by tedzan View Post

Regarding the Series make-up of this set, I have had (or have seen) 4 of the 5 possible 32-card sheets of this set. The Hi # sheet (cards # 129 - 160) is somewhat
more available than the other sheets. I have not seen a 4th sheet (cards # 97 - 128). It is quite a mystery as to why cards #113 - 128 on this sheet are difficult to
find with respect to cards #97 - 112 ? ?

Or, anyone else who would like to chime in here on this particular subject.


TED Z

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  #12  
Old 07-16-2021, 03:10 PM
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Here is Ted Z's original complete article from BBC Mag. I believe he won't mind my posting it for the edification and enjoyment of those who have never seen it. I did have to edit it down, removing the illustrations, in order to make the text as readable as possible here under the posting size limitations. Still, probably best viewed using browser zoom control, if you have such.
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2021, 09:20 AM
tedzan tedzan is offline
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Default 1953 BOWMAN set

Hi Steve

I appreciate you posting the text of my 1953 BOWMAN article. Bob Lemke started this BASEBALL CARDS magazine in 1981.
It was a really great hobby publication during the 1980's.

I love this colorful picture in my article. Bob Lemke produced it for this article.




Gee, this invokes many fond memories of this great hobby during the 1980's.


TED Z

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  #14  
Old 07-17-2021, 04:44 PM
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You're right, Ted. I also enjoyed BBC mag while it was publishing in the 80's. Lemke and others there did a fine job of researching the available information on vintage card sets, and you and other experts in the field provided a lot of valuable material that would otherwise not have passed down to current hobbyists. Thanks for that.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2021, 06:50 PM
G1911 G1911 is online now
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I have never found 113-128 to be tougher than 97-112. They used to be listed separately in the catalogs, but I've found no factual basis to support that they are tough. The PSA pop report strongly suggests that they are not tougher (https://www.psacard.com/pop/baseball...an-color/34128), which is not gospel, but difficult to manipulate in this quantity when they're all 250-300 straight grade pops for commons. Very large sample size of this series.

I don't believe this old myth that they are tougher; perhaps the pack out meant some areas only some parts of a sheet in greater quantity than others, but on the whole, there's no real quantifiable evidence that suggests they are actually tougher. Also, it just doesn't pass the common sense test that half of a sheet would be scarcer.

A lot of things are said in the hobby that contradicts actual data and doesn't pass the smell test. This one should be put to bed, I think, unless non-subjective evidence can be mustered.
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Old 07-19-2021, 07:20 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
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Default 1953 BOWMAN cards

"G1911" (you could at least give us your first name)

Anyhow, back in the 1980's & 1990's (when there were many collectors working on completing sets), I helped many of them with their various BOWMAN sets.
With respect to the 1953 BOWMAN set, I saw many, many want-lists AND the majority of the cards needed were #113 - 128.

So, you can call it a "myth" (or whatever)....however the empirical data says, you don't know what heck you are talking about.

Personally, I have completed FOUR sets of these 1953 BOWMAN's, and I can attest to the fact that this group of 16 cards (#113 - 128) are tougher than other
cards in this set. Especially cards #121 to 128.


TED Z

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  #17  
Old 07-19-2021, 08:02 PM
G1911 G1911 is online now
Gr.eg McCl.@y
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedzan View Post
"G1911" (you could at least give us your first name)

Anyhow, back in the 1980's & 1990's (when there were many collectors working on completing sets), I helped many of them with their various BOWMAN sets.
With respect to the 1953 BOWMAN set, I saw many, many want-lists AND the majority of the cards needed were #113 - 128.

So, you can call it a "myth" (or whatever)....however the empirical data says, you don't know what heck you are talking about.

Personally, I have completed FOUR sets of these 1953 BOWMAN's, and I can attest to the fact that this group of 16 cards (#113 - 128) are tougher than other
cards in this set. Especially cards #121 to 128.


TED Z

T206 Reference
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Maybe I don't know "what heck" I'm talking about. What I claim is that I can look at the numbers, and see they do not add up. I'd love to see how what you concede is 'empirical data' is wrong. I'd love to see any actual evidence to back up this myth. Logic tells me that when the data contradicts the anecdotal narrative, there is something wrong with the narrative. I have no emotional tie to one conclusion or the other, I simply look at the data.

Argue on the merit, on the claim and on evidentiary grounds. Argument on appeal to authority or ad hominems have nothing to do with actual truth.
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  #18  
Old 07-19-2021, 08:38 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
Maybe I don't know "what heck" I'm talking about. What I claim is that I can look at the numbers, and see they do not add up. I'd love to see how what you concede is 'empirical data' is wrong. I'd love to see any actual evidence to back up this myth. Logic tells me that when the data contradicts the anecdotal narrative, there is something wrong with the narrative. I have no emotional tie to one conclusion or the other, I simply look at the data.

Argue on the merit, on the claim and on evidentiary grounds. Argument on appeal to authority or ad hominems have nothing to do with actual truth.
Where is your "data" that you are referring to ? Useless pop-reports, or what ? Show us your so-called "DATA" !

At least I have data from my numerous experiences as a dealer/collector for 40 years.


TED Z

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  #19  
Old 07-19-2021, 09:42 PM
G1911 G1911 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedzan View Post
Where is your "data" that you are referring to ? Useless pop-reports, or what ? Show us your so-called "DATA" !

At least I have data from my numerous experiences as a dealer/collector for 40 years.


TED Z

T206 Reference
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A direct link was provided already in my first post. There are mid 200's to 300 of each common card in the series, fluctuating within this range about equally in the series.

Hall of Famers and stars are of course higher, but we have a massive sample size of 1953 Bowman's here. Crack and resubmit is a thing, but there is no reason to think Jim Hegan is less susceptible to this effect than Bill Serena. Calling a database compiling over 10,000 cards from this series "useless" and "so called DATA" is an absurdist proposition. It would cost someone tens of thousands of dollars to silently manipulate it 0 gain. Personally, I don't like grading and crack every single PSA case I get, but it's very large sample size of cards.

If you have created a properly verified and curated database of 1953 Bowman examples over those 40 years, I'd truly love to see it. That would be a very helpful and large data point too. Otherwise, this is an anecdotal appeal to authority.

It should not be about people being right or wrong or thinking that some narratives should not be examined or questioned on evidentiary grounds. We should follow the data and apply logical principles to arrive at truth. Otherwise, we aren't doing anything useful but repeating stories. Data often shows things I used to think were true are not, or proves that something is not true that I wish was. That's why data is valuable; it isn't emotional. The publicly available data does not support this narrative; no data has been brought to light that does support it. Reason tells me that it would be unwise of me to persist in its belief in the face of the data.

Last edited by G1911; 07-20-2021 at 02:58 AM.
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