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  #1  
Old 05-17-2019, 02:50 PM
darkhorse9 darkhorse9 is offline
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Default Would you feel different about 1953 Bowman B&W if....

..they had numbered it as an extension of the color set?

It really gets little to no love compared to one of the greatest sets of all time. But it was really a high number series, which usually gets a lot of attention.

The B&W are harder to find, just like high numbers, but not treated like high numbers.

If the numbering were different what would that do to the value and demand?
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2019, 03:18 PM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
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The numbering would have not mattered to me. I thought of it as an extension and felt to need to have them as part of my 53 "set". Plus it even has a good variation.

It is interesting to me how revered the 53 color set is today versus what a market flop it was in 1953 in terms of sales versus cost
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2019, 09:16 AM
KCRfan1 KCRfan1 is offline
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The color series is gorgeous and has plenty of star power. Numbering or not, the B & W has no star power.
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  #4  
Old 05-19-2019, 01:19 AM
Volod Volod is offline
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Yeah, I have also wondered the same thing, so that after completing the "color" set, it was kind of a gnawing hole there that got me to finish the '53 issue by going after the B&W's. I had collected the color cards as a kid, but had never seen - or been aware of - the B&W cards because they were issued late in the year when youngsters were busy with other shenanigans. But, I doubt that numbering them as a "high number" issue would have made them more desirable in later years. Now, if Bowman had simply made them a Kodachrome final series, I think they would have become at least as sought after as the extant high numbers. The rationale usually given for the black/white set is that the color process became prohibitively expensive, but that has never seemed plausible to me. I think perhaps Bowman execs were kind of floundering around by that time and lost interest and focus to some extent.
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2019, 09:44 AM
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My own thoughts, probably unprovable at this point, were that Bowman decided not to pay Joe DiMaggio any more royalties for his image and name in promoting the color set. His contract very well could have specified he was endorsing "color" picture cards. Switch to B&W, remove Joe's image and there you go. I can't see printing in color added that much to the cost overall. Joe's cut was probably on a percentage deal and it got too expensive in this scenario. Like I said, unprovable but a possibility to my mind.
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  #6  
Old 05-19-2019, 09:45 AM
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In his book Dean seems to indicate the higher production cost and unexpected poor sales led Bowman to scale back to B&W. I think he also points out the B&Ws were generally poor quality because they were shot in a format to be colorized and not as black and white quality film.

Last edited by ALR-bishop; 05-19-2019 at 09:46 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2019, 10:48 AM
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Default 53 B blck/white

Yea, just the lack of star players hurts that set

I once had it complete..hated it..traded it
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2019, 11:02 AM
KCRfan1 KCRfan1 is offline
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Is there any reason to why the sales of the 53 Bowman color were so poor back at the time of issue? Was it marketing and distribution or price per pack vs Topps? The 53 Bowman set is now regarded as one of the most beautiful sets produced. It's hard to imagine the set being so overlooked at the time.
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Last edited by KCRfan1; 05-19-2019 at 11:04 AM. Reason: run on sentence
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2019, 03:09 PM
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Lou-- Dean Hanley's book offers some reasons. First Warren Bowman, an astute marketing guy, sold out at a peak time, 1952. The buyer was new to baseball cards and apparently had no one to match Berger's creativity.

They did go all out in 53 but their production cost were very high versus the colorization process used by Topps, and the set was only 160 versus 274 or so for Topps. So kids could get more players from their specific teams. And a nickel got you gum and 6 cards from Topps versus gum and 5 cards from Bowman

The book indicates Topps sales in 53 were 3 x more than Bowman.
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2019, 04:54 AM
Volod Volod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toppcat View Post
My own thoughts, probably unprovable at this point, were that Bowman decided not to pay Joe DiMaggio any more royalties for his image and name in promoting the color set. His contract very well could have specified he was endorsing "color" picture cards. Switch to B&W, remove Joe's image and there you go. I can't see printing in color added that much to the cost overall. Joe's cut was probably on a percentage deal and it got too expensive in this scenario. Like I said, unprovable but a possibility to my mind.

Dave - I believe you are right about DiMaggio's contract with Bowman. The company probably anticipated possible poor sales and left itself an out from Joe D's cut by tying it to the words, "color cards." As a nine-year-old, I avidly bought both gum companies product that year, but I doubt that I even noticed DiMaggio's image and endorsement on the wrapper, much less cared about it. I believe that Topps was much more aggressive in its marketing, and its cards were probably much more visible on store shelves and available in greater quantities, as my fuzzy recall is of many more '53 Topps cards circulating in school and playgrounds that year than Bowman. I do recall being fascinated by the marvelous color photography of the Bowmans and wanting more of them, but not finding nearly as many as the Topps, which had an advantage of their own in the more entertaining cardbacks - the "baseball quiz" feature.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2019, 10:29 AM
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I don't follow the part about DiMaggio, he was never on any Bowman card, but you guys are saying he had a contract with Bowman?
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
I don't follow the part about DiMaggio, he was never on any Bowman card, but you guys are saying he had a contract with Bowman?
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2019, 01:01 PM
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Ah, I see.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2019, 02:41 PM
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I believe there's at least one ad piece known with Joe D. on it as well.
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  #15  
Old 05-25-2019, 07:58 AM
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Today it is a star power issue, no doubt.

Has it been established how these were made? It seems to me that the color cards were shot in color and the BW cards were shot that way. The color is too spot on to be added.



The 54 and 55 sets are colored, probably flexichrome. The BW could be converted from color via an internegative process, so they could have been intended as color.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 05-25-2019 at 08:17 AM.
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  #16  
Old 05-25-2019, 10:16 AM
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Wouldn't it be great to see the black and white set in color? By the way, why are there no White Sox in the black and white set?
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