1954 Bowman Baseball Cards

1954 Bowman Baseball Cards


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By 1954, the battle between Topps and Bowman for the hearts and minds (and pennies and nickels) of American kids was still in full force. The collateral damage from that fight was seen in some of the cards from the 1954 Bowman Baseball set. Not only were several cards corrected for errors after being rushed so quickly into production, but one ended up being withdrawn altogether and replaced. The 1954 Bowman Baseball set contains 224 cards. However, an estimated 40 variation cards are said to exist bringing the total card count for the set builder to 264 cards. Printed and distributed in two series, card #'s 1-128 and 129-224. Unusual for the era, the high number series is not all that much more difficult to find than the low number series.

Measuring 2-1/2" x 3-3/4", the card fronts consist of a player portrait, though not nearly as rich in color as the company's 1953 baseball card set. A small pastel-colored box in a lower corner contained the player's signature (or block print, for certain late-series cards). A white border surrounds the picture and box. A bat and ball graphic appear on the back, with the card number located inside the ball and the player's name in the bat. A few vital statistics and a short biography follow. A trivia question appears along the bottom. A small box to the right contains the player's 1953 stats, with the trivia question's answer below it.

There are several variations that pop up among 1954 Bowman cards as a result of incorrect statistics that were subsequently corrected. Few of these statistical variations have been given any additional value. However, two cards (#33 Vic Raschi and #163 Dave Philley) had a line added to their backs that mention their trades to different teams; those cards that have the traded to line are more valuable than those that do not. Bowman used a unique numbering system that rotated between all sixteen teams, so each team had a regular numbering patter. For instance, the Yankees had card 1, 17, 33, 49, etc. The Red Sox followed with cards 2, 18, 34, 50 and so on. Each team had 14 cards (unless you count both #66 cards, which gives 15 for the Red Sox).

The 1954 Bowman set lacks any high value rookies. The only ones of any significance are those of Harvey Keunn (card #23) and Don Larsen (card #101). The most valuable card in the set features Ted Williams, but not only because of the fact that he was one of the biggest players in the game at the time. Topps managed to sign him to an exclusive contract, so Bowman had to pull card #66 and replace him with teammate Jimmy Piersall. Despite the loss of Ted Williams, there are several stars in the 1954 Bowman set that cannot be found in theTopps set of the same year, including Mickey Mantle, Bob Feller, Roy Campanella, Robin Roberts and Pee Wee Reese.

One oddity of note is the cards of Baltimore Orioles players.Their fans may be either amused or infuriated by the cards Bowman printed. 1954 was the team's first season in Baltimore, after playing as the St. Louis Browns since 1901. The move was announced and the new team name and logo had been unveiled, but there were no pictures of any of the Orioles in their new uniforms. Bowman's art department had to make do with their best guesses, which resulted in having the bird looking the wrong way on some caps.

Top eBay Listings

1996 Topps Mantle Finest Refractor MICKEY MANTLE #4 (1954 Bowman) (45026)

1954 Bowman 90 Roy Campanella DODGERS EX MT+

1954 Bowman #70 Willard Marshall NM MT M1865

1954 Bowman #74 Jim Gilliam EX M4496

1954 Bowman #48 Jack Dittmer NM M3570

1954 Bowman #39 Ned Garver EX MT M4681

1954 Bowman #10 Carl Erskine VG M4468

1954 Bowman #43 Bob Friend Quiz is 20 Shutouts EX M4729

1954 Bowman #9 Davey Williams NM MT M2532

1954 Bowman #32 Del Crandall EX M4725

1954 Bowman #12 Roy McMillan EX M4708

1954 Bowman #4 Bob Hooper NM M3337

1954 Bowman #1 Phil Rizzuto EX F3919

1954 Bowman #70 Willard Marshall NM M3294

1954 Bowman #74 Jim Gilliam EX MT M4449

1954 Bowman #38 Minnie Minoso EX MT M4290
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Set Checklist

1954 Bowman Baseball Card Checklist

Card #Player Name
1Phil Rizzuto
2Jackie Jensen
3Marion Fricano
4Bob Hooper
5Billy Hunter
6Nellie Fox
7Walt Dropo
8Jim Busby
9Dave Williams
10Carl Erskine
11Sid Gordon
12BASERoy McMillan 551 / 1290 At Bat
12Roy McMillan 557 / 1296 At Bat
13Paul Minner
14Gerry Staley
15Richie Ashburn
16Jim Wilson
17Tom Gorman
18Hoot Evers
19Bobby Shantz
20Art Houtteman
21Vic Wertz
22BASESam Mele 213 / 1661 Putouts
22Sam Mele 217 / 1665 Putouts
23Harvey Kuenn RC
24Bob Porterfield
25BASEWes Westrum 1.000 / .987 Fielding Avg.
25Wes Westrum .982 / .986 Fielding Avg.
26BASEBilly Cox 1.000 / .960 Fielding Avg.
26Billy Cox .972 / .960 Fielding Avg.
27Dick Cole RC
28BASEJim Greengrass Birthplace Addison NJ
28Jim Greengrass Birthplace Addison NY
29Johnny Klippstein
30Del Rice
31Smoky Burgess
32Del Crandall
33BASEVic Raschi No Trade
33Vic Raschi Traded to St.Louis
34Sammy White
35BASEEddie Joost Quiz Answer is 8
35Eddie Joost Quiz Answer is 33
36George Strickland
37Dick Kokos
38BASEMinnie Minoso .895 / .961 Fielding Avg.
38Minnie Minoso .963 / .963 Fielding Avg.
39Ned Garver
40Gil Coan
41BASEAlvin Dark .986 / 960 Fielding Avg.
41Alvin Dark .968 / .960 Fielding Avg.
42Billy Loes
43BASEBob Friend 20 Shutouts in Quiz
43Bob Friend 16 Shutouts in Quiz
44Harry Perkowski
45Ralph Kiner
46Rip Repulski
47BASEGranny Hamner .970 / .953 Fielding Avg.
47Granny Hamner .953 / .951 Fielding Avg.
48Jack Dittmer
49Harry Byrd
50George Kell
51Alex Kellner
52Joe Ginsberg
53BASEDon Lenhardt .969 / .984 Fielding Avg.
53Don Lenhardt .966 / .983 Fielding Avg.
54Chico Carrasquel
55Jim Delsing
56Maurice McDermott
57Hoyt Wilhelm
58Pee Wee Reese
59Bob Schultz
60Fred Baczewski RC
61BASEEddie Miksis .954 / .962 Fielding Avg.
61Eddie Miksis .954 / .961 Fielding Avg.
62Enos Slaughter
63Earl Torgeson
64Eddie Mathews
65Mickey Mantle
66BASETed Williams
66Jimmy Piersall
67BASECarl Scheib .306 Pct. Two Lines under Bio
67Carl Scheib .306 Pct. One Line under Bio
67ALTCarl Scheib .300 Pct.
68Bobby Avila
69Clint Courtney
70Willard Marshall
71Ted Gray
72Eddie Yost
73Don Mueller
74Jim Gilliam
75Max Surkont
76Joe Nuxhall
77Bob Rush
78Sal Yvars
79Curt Simmons
80BASEJohnny Logan 106 Runs
80Johnny Logan 100 Runs
81BASEJerry Coleman 1.000 / .975 Fielding Avg.
81Jerry Coleman .952 / .975 Fielding Avg.
82BASEBill Goodman .965 / .986 Fielding Avg.
82Bill Goodman .972 / .985 Fielding Avg.
83Ray Murray
84Larry Doby
85BASEJim Dyck .926 / .956 Fielding Avg.
85Jim Dyck .947 / .960 Fielding Avg.
86Harry Dorish
87Don Lund
88Tom Umphlett RC
89Willie Mays
90Roy Campanella
91Cal Abrams
92Ken Raffensberger
93BASEBill Serena .983 / .966 Fielding Avg.
93Bill Serena .977 / .966 Fielding Avg.
94BASESolly Hemus 476 / 1343 Assists
94Solly Hemus 477 / 1343 Assists
95Robin Roberts
96Joe Adcock
97Gil McDougald
98Ellis Kinder
99BASEPeter Suder .985 / .974 Fielding Avg.
99Peter Suder .978 / .974 Fielding Avg.
100Mike Garcia
101Don Larsen RC
102Billy Pierce
103BASEStephen Souchock 144 / 1192 Putouts
103Stephen Souchock 147 / 1195 Putouts
104Frank Shea
105BASESal Maglie Quiz Answer is 8
105Sal Maglie Quiz Answer is 1904
106Clem Labine
107Paul LaPalme
108Bobby Adams
109Roy Smalley
110Red Schoendienst
111Murry Dickson
112Andy Pafko
113Allie Reynolds
114Willard Nixon
115Don Bollweg
116Luke Easter
117Dick Kryhoski
118Bob Boyd
119Fred Hatfield
120Mel Hoderlein RC
121Ray Katt RC
122Carl Furillo
123Toby Atwell
124BASEGus Bell 15 / 27 Errors
124Gus Bell 11 / 26 Errors
125Warren Hacker
126Cliff Chambers
127Del Ennis
128Ebba St.Claire
129Hank Bauer
130Milt Bolling
131Joe Astroth
132Bob Feller
133Duane Pillette
134Luis Aloma
135Johnny Pesky
136Clyde Vollmer
137Al Corwin
138BASEGil Hodges .993 / .991 Fielding Avg.
138Gil Hodges .992 / .991 Fielding Avg.
139BASEPreston Ward .961 / .992 Fielding Avg.
139Preston Ward .990 / .992 Fielding Avg.
140BASESaul Rogovin 7-12 W-L 2 Strikeouts
140Saul Rogovin 7-12 W-L 62 Strikeouts
140ALTSaul Rogovin 8-12 W-L
141Joe Garagiola
142Al Brazle
143Willie Jones
144Ernie Johnson RC
145BASEBilly Martin .985 / .983 Fielding Avg.
145Billy Martin .983 / .982 Fielding Avg.
146Dick Gernert
147Joe DeMaestri
148Dale Mitchell
149Bob Young
150Cass Michaels
151Pat Mullin
152Mickey Vernon
153BASEWhitey Lockman 100 / 331 Assists
153Whitey Lockman 102 / 333 Assists
154Don Newcombe
155Frank Thomas RC
156BASERocky Bridges 320 / 467 Assists
156Rocky Bridges 328 / 475 Assists
157Turk Lown
158Stu Miller
159Johnny Lindell
160Danny O'Connell
161Yogi Berra
162Ted Lepcio
163BASEDave Philley No Trade 152 Games
163Dave Philley Traded to Cleveland 152 Games
163ALTDave Philley Traded to Cleveland 157 Games
164Early Wynn
165Johnny Groth
166Sandy Consuegra
167Billy Hoeft
168Ed Fitzgerald
169Larry Jansen
170Duke Snider
171Carlos Bernier
172Andy Seminick
173Dee Fondy
174BASEPete Castiglione .966 / .959 Fielding Avg.
174Pete Castiglione .970 / .959 Fielding Avg.
175Mel Clark
176Vern Bickford
177Whitey Ford
178Del Wilber
179BASEMorris Martin 44 ERA
179Morris Martin 4.44 ERA
180Joe Tipton
181Les Moss
182Sherm Lollar
183Matt Batts
184Mickey Grasso
185BASEDaryl Spencer .941 / .944 Fielding Avg. RC
185Daryl Spencer .933 / .936 Fielding Avg.
186Russ Meyer
187Vern Law
188Frank Smith
189Randy Jackson
190Joe Presko
191Karl Drews
192Lew Burdette
193Eddie Robinson
194Sid Hudson
195Bob Cain
196Bob Lemon
197Lou Kretlow
198Virgil Trucks
199Steve Gromek
200Conrado Marrero
201Bobby Thomson
202George Shuba
203Vic Janowicz
204Jack Collum RC
205Hal Jeffcoat
206Steve Bilko
207Stan Lopata
208Johnny Antonelli
209Gene Woodling Error Reversed Photo
210Jimmy Piersall
211Al Robertson RC
212BASEOwen Friend .964 / .957 Fielding Avg.
212Owen Friend .967 / .958 Fielding Avg.
213Dick Littlefield
214Ferris Fain
215Johnny Bucha
216BASEJerry Snyder .988 / .988 Fielding Avg.
216Jerry Snyder .968 / .968 Fielding Avg.
217BASEHenry Thompson .956 / .951 Fielding Avg.
217Henry Thompson .958 / .952 Fielding Avg.
218Preacher Roe
219Hal Rice
220Hobie Landrith RC
221Frank Baumholtz
222Memo Luna RC
223Steve Ridzik
224Bill Bruton
Top eBay Listings

1954 Bowman, #72, Ed Yost, PSA-6.5, EX-MT+

1954 Bowman, #74, James Gilliam, PSA-5, EX

1954 Bowman, #89, Willie Mays (HOF), PSA-4, VG-EX

1954 Bowman #49 Harry Byrd PSA 6 M5445

1954 Bowman #31 Smoky Burgess PSA 6 M3504

1954 Bowman #75 Max Surkont PSA 5 M4458

1954 Bowman #15 Richie Ashburn PSA 7 M3028

1954 Bowman #45 Ralph Kiner PSA 7 M3030

1954 Bowman #50 George Kell PSA 6 M3545

1954 Bowman #23 Harvey Kuenn PSA 6 M3547

1954 Bowman #6 Nellie Fox PSA 6 M5441

1954 Bowman #61 Eddie Miksis PSA 6 M5423

1954 Bowman #43 Bob Friend Quiz is 20 Shutouts PSA 7 M5444

1954 Bowman #33 Vic Raschi PSA 5 M5440

1954 Bowman #32 Del Crandall PSA 5 M3503

1954 Bowman #38 Minnie Minoso PSA 6 M3489
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Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

User Reviews

  1. Great Hall of Fame stars! Interesting pictures of players and many hard to get cards–centering is a particular problem!

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