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G1911 07-20-2018 03:15 PM

1954 Bowman - Anyone else a fan of this set?
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They may not be quite as nice as the 52 Large's, but I love the 54 Bowman set. Clean, simple design with the name pennant and white borders and mostly great image choices. Cheap, only 128 cards, but with a short print series that's tough enough to keep it interesting without costing much. Even the Blanda rookie and Gifford can be had cheaply. I paid $7 for a poor Blanda, which is the most I've spent on any card for my set, which ranges from Poor to Excellent, raw and in a cardboard box. At 128 cards, there are few back-ups or minor players and a high percentage of hall of famers and stars. Unlike many sets, the superstar cards also have some of the best images in the set in my book. Crazy Legs Hirsch flying through the air, Layne pitching the ball to Doak Walker, Tittle throwing one long.

I've been slowly building this set for many years now. I collected with my younger brother as a child, and at a local card show we found a 2/$1 box with what seemed like truly ancient cards. I still remember the excitement of my first 50's cardboard. I picked a 55 Bowman Gern Nagler and 56 Topps Emlen Tunnell. My little brother picked up #3 Scarbath and #104 Williams from the 54 Bowman set, and gave them to me when he stopped collecting as a teenager. These two are still my favorites in my set for sentimental reasons. I've been slowly buying cards on and off for 15 years now, and have all the keys and hall of famers (except Groza and Stautner), just ~15 cards left to complete

I love master sets and variations, and 54 Bowman has a few. The price guides have always listed the #97 Finnan/Finnin spelling variation, and assigned a heavy price increase to the Finnan error, but I have never found this card to actually be difficult. #49 Chadnois/Chandnois was not listed anywhere years ago when I picked up most of my cards, but neither variation is tough. I think the error is slightly less common. The #102 Tunnel is more interesting to me, as it has several variations and is of my favorite player to collect of the 50's. His last name was spelled "Tunnel" on the card front at first, before being corrected. The price guides list this variation nowadays, but there are several different stages of the corrected card. In the earliest, the second "L" in Tunnell is printed very lightly. On the second, the "L" is dark in the middle, but looks light and broken at either end of the letter. There are 4-5 different minor variations with how the second "L" was printed. The 3 basic ones are attached alongside the Finnin and Chandnois back errors.

Anyone else here a fan of the 54's? Have any cool scrap, misprints, errors, favorite cards or memories to share?

jefferyepayne 07-20-2018 06:08 PM

Agree about the '54 Bowman set. It's underrated and fun to put together. The kind of set that anyone on any budget can complete.

Thanks for starting this thread!


greenmonster66 07-20-2018 09:08 PM

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I also agree its a fun set to put together. Love the action poses and the selection of Hall of Famers in it.

jefferyepayne 07-21-2018 05:34 AM

Love the white footballs in the Bowman sets too!

Here are a few other HOFers.


G1911 05-03-2021 01:42 AM

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Took 3 more years to get the last 15 cards I needed on the tiny budget I allotted for it. Overpaid for the final card here, $8 for Martinkovic in the tougher 3rd series to polish it off. Now to finish 55

aaamchenry 05-03-2021 05:39 AM

Those cards are beautiful. Way to stick with it and complete the set!


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jefferyepayne 05-04-2021 04:10 PM

Congrats on finishing your set!


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