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1948 Bowman Basketball Complete Set (72)
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $2,400
This complete set of 1948 Bowman Basketball includes #69 George Mikan, the king of all basketball cards. The 1948 Bowman Basketball series is particularly significant as this was the first set ever issued devoted exclusively to basketball. The George Mikan card in this set is widely recognized as the most sought-after and valuable of all basketball cards. This 1948 issue was the only basketball set Bowman ever produced. Condition of this set is 25% Ex (including a few better), 20% Vg, and 55% lesser. Among the lesser-graded cards are all the high-number cards (#37-72), which all appear to have long ago been very carefully hand-cut from sheets. Most otherwise have a very strong appearance, in many cases appearing Vg-Ex to Ex. We have selected three cards to be graded and encapsulated by SGC. Keys: #1 Calverley RC (Vg), 9 Phillip RC (Vg+), 10 Davies RC (Vg-Ex), 32 Holzman RC (NM 84), 34 Fulks RC (EX/NM 80), 38 Jeanette RC (HOF, hand-cut, otherwise Vg-Ex, gray background), 43 Halbert RC (hand-cut, otherwise Ex, gray back), 46 McKinney RC (hand-cut, otherwise Gd/Vg, gray background), 48 Sadowski RC (hand-cut, Vg, gray back), 52 Simmons RC (hand-cut, otherwise Gd/Vg, gray background), 54 Palmer RC (hand-cut, otherwise Ex+), 55 Zaslofsky RC (hand-cut, otherwise Gd/Vg), 58 Risen RC (HOF, hand-cut, otherwise Ex+, gray background), 66 Pollard RC (HOF, hand-cut, otherwise Fr), 69 Mikan RC (HOF, Authentic due to hand-cut, otherwise Vg+, blue background), and 72 Braun RC (hand-cut, otherwise Gd). As advanced collectors are well aware, 1948 Bowman basketball cards occasionally surface missing the red or blue coloring. It is believed that simple printing errors are responsible for these color variations, and that the "gray back" variations in 1948 Bowman basketball, as well as 1949 Bowman baseball (which have a very similar design), are the result of cards not going through an ink process, or the printing machines running out of ink. Thirteen cards from this set are gray-background variations. The reverse of the rare color-variation cards are fully printed. While there is no way for us to be certain, we believe these gray-background cards were never actually issued in packs. A small quantity of these error sheets was probably given to neighborhood kids or saved from the trash at the Bowman factory in Philadelphia, and later hand-cut and long ago dispersed throughout the collecting community. (We know this to be the case with 1949 Bowman baseball sheets, firsthand from collectors who were around in 1949.) In fact, we would be surprised if all of these rare color-variation cards did not long ago originate from Philadelphia area collectors who neatly cut them from sheets. This is the first and only basketball set Bowman ever issued. The set includes the rookie cards of all of the major stars of the era. The 1948 Bowman Basketball is well known for production-quality issues, making the assembling of high-quality sets particularly challenging. This is a particularly attractive, clean, and relatively affordable complete set of this significant basketball issue. Total: 72 cards. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000+. SOLD FOR $2,400
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