1953 Bowman Football Cards

1953 Bowman Football Cards

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In 1953, Bowman issued its smallest set, the only one that featured fewer than 100 cards. The set's small size has puzzled collectors, since Bowman was the only company issuing gum cards with football players on them.

Cards featured a colorized player picture (some painted, others photographic) along with their name and team listed inside a rather large white football graphic. Most cards are vertical, but some are given a horizontal orientation depending on the picture used. A white border surrounds the picture. Card backs feature a number inside a pair of old goalposts, with the player's name and vital statistics running along the top. A short biography follows, and the bottom is split into two parts. One side gives the previous season's statistics, while the other has a referee call or trivia question over a red football-shaped icon.

It has been determined that the 1953 Bowman football set was printed on three printing sheets of 32 cards each and that there were no series that were any scarcer than the others. However, there are 24 cards that are listed as short prints, including cards of Emlen Tunnell, Lou Groza and Frank Gifford. It is not known whether Bowman was still having trouble cutting and distributing the larger-sized cards in their factory or if the short-printing was the result of some other reason.

One player on the Steelers is William Walsh, who is not the same person who coached the 49ers a generation later. The only notable rookie in the set is Eddie LeBaron.

Key 1953 Bowman Football Cards:

Top eBay Listings



1953 Bowman Football Card #47 Don Paul-Los Angeles Rams

1953 Bowman #43 - Frank Gifford - SGC 84 -- New York Giants HoF (mikedenero)

1953 Bowman #16 Edward Price New York Giants Vintage NFL Card

1953 Bowman Football #79 Bob Walston-Philadelphia Eagles

1953 Bowman Football Card #91 Tom Dublinski-Baltimore Colts


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Set Checklist

1953 Bowman Football Card Checklist

Card #Player Name
1Eddie LeBaron RC
2John Dottley
3Babe Parilli
4Bucko Kilroy
5Joe Tereshinski
6Doak Walker
7Fran Polsfoot
8Sisto Averno
9Marion Motley
10Pat Brady
11Norm Van Brocklin
12Bill McColl
13Jerry Groom
14Al Pollard
15Dante Lavelli
16Eddie Price
17Charley Trippi
18Elbert Nickel
19George Taliaferro
20Charley Conerly
21Bobby Layne
22Elroy Hirsch
23Jim Finks
24Chuck Bednarik
25Kyle Rote
26Otto Graham
27Harry Gilmer
28Tobin Rote
29Billy Stone
30Buddy Young
31Leon Hart
32Hugh McElhenny
34Lou Creekmur
35Tom Catlin
36Tom Fears
37George Connor
38Bill Walsh C
39Leonford SP
40Horace Gillom
41John Schweder SP
42Tom O'Connell
43Frank Gifford SP
44Frank Continetti SP
45John Olszewski SP
46Dub Jones
47Don Paul SP
48Gerald Weatherly
49Fred Bruney SP
50Jack Scarbath
51John Karras
52Al Conway
53Emlen Tunnell SP
54Gern Nagler SP
55Kenneth Snyder SP
57John Rapacz SP
58Harley Sewell SP
59Don Bingham
60Darrell Hogan
61Tony Curcillo
62Ray Renfro RC SP
63Leon Heath
64Tex Coulter SP
65Dewayne Douglas
66J. Robert Smith SP
67Bob McChesney SP
68Dick Alban SP
69Andy Kozar
70Merwin Hodel SP
71Thurman McGraw
72Cliff Anderson
73Pete Pihos
74Julie Rykovich
75John Kreamcheck SP
76Lynn Chandnois
77Cloyce Box SP
78Ray Mathews
79Bobby Walston
80Jim Dooley
81Pat Harder SP
82Jerry Shipkey
83Bobby Thomason RC
84Hugh Taylor
85George Ratterman
86Don Stonesifer
87John Williams RC SP
88Leo Nomellini
89Frank Ziegler
90Don Paul DB Error
91Tom Dublinski
92Ken Carpenter
93Ted Marchibroda RC
94Chuck Drazenovich
95Lou Groza SP
96William Cross RC SP

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Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

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