1954 Bowman Baseball Cards

1954 Bowman Baseball Cards

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A result of the new hobby that was emerging based on the on-going competition with Topps, 1954 Bowman Baseball was ultimately a frugal attempt to regain market share while cutting costs. Although the endeavor did not yield much for Bowman, the set still has a lot to offer collectors.

By 1954, the battle between Topps and Bowman for the hearts and minds (and pocket change) 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Not only were several cards corrected for errors after being rushed so quickly into production, but one ended up being withdrawn altogether and replaced.

1954 Bowman Baseball box

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, cards #1-128 make up the first group and #129-224 comprise the second series. 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" by 3-3/4", the 1954 Bowman Baseball 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 contains the player's signature (or block print, for certain late-series cards), while a white border surrounds the picture and box.

1954 Bowman Baseball Ted Williams 1954 Bowman Baseball Ted Williams back

1954 Bowman Baseball card backs include a bat and ball graphic, 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. Also featured on the backs, a trivia question is found along the bottom and a small box to the right contains the player's 1953 stats. The answer to the trivia question is located below the stat box.

The set utilizes a unique numbering system that rotates between all sixteen teams, so each team has a consistent pattern. For instance, the Yankees are found on cards #1, 17, 33, 49, 65, 81, 97, 113, 129, 145, 161, 177, 193 and 209. The Red Sox follow with cards #2, 18, 34, 50, and so on. Each team has 14 cards unless you include both #66 cards, which makes 15 for the Red Sox.

1954 Bowman Baseball Piersall 1954 Bowman Baseball Piersall back

The most valuable card in the set is Ted Williams. However, the high values are not simply because he was one of the biggest players in the game at the time. Topps managed to sign him to an exclusive contract in 1954, so Bowman had to pull card #66 and replace him with teammate Jimmy Piersall. This extreme scarcity results in huge values, but most collectors consider the set complete with the #66 Piersall in place of the Williams card.

Despite the loss of Ted Williams, there are several stars in the 1954 Bowman set that cannot be found in the Topps set of the same year, including Mickey Mantle, Bob Feller, Roy Campanella, Robin Roberts and Pee Wee Reese. Unfortunately for the set, there are very few notable rookie cards. Top options include Don Larsen and Harvey Keunn, which is made even more disappointing considering the rookie cards found in 1954 Topps.

1954 Bowman Baseball pack wrapper

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.

1954 Bowman Don Larsen

Top eBay Listings

12074* 1954 Bowman # 201 Bobby Thomson Ex Ex-Mt
$15.00

12076* 1954 Bowman # 203 Vic Janowicz Ex-Mt
$10.00

12077* 1954 Bowman # 204 Jackie Collum Ex-Mt
$7.00

12078* 1954 Bowman # 205 Hal Jeffcoat Ex Ex-Mt
$7.00

12079* 1954 Bowman # 208 Johnny Antonelli NM
$10.00

12080* 1954 Bowman # 209 Gene Woodling Ex Ex-Mt
$20.00

12081* 1954 Bowman # 211 Al Robertson Ex-Mt
$10.00

12083* 1954 Bowman # 213 Dick Littlefield EX
$7.00

12086* 1954 Bowman # 216 Jerry Snyder Ex Ex-Mt
$6.00

12087* 1954 Bowman # 217 Henry Thompson Vg-Ex
$5.00

12091* 1954 Bowman # 221 Frank Baumholtz NM-MT
$50.00

12092* 1954 Bowman # 222 Memo Luna Ex-Mt
$12.00

12094* 1954 Bowman # 224 Bill Bruton EX
$9.00

(34317) 1954 Bowman 66 Jim Piersall Red Sox-EX
$35.00

1954 Bowman Baseball Card #6 Nelson Fox & 1956 Topps #118 & Topps 1961 #30
$5.99

(26669) 1954 Bowman 49 Harry Byrd Yankees-NM
$17.50
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Key Cards

Key 1954 Bowman Baseball Cards

Click on the images or listings to shop for cards on eBay. 

#66 Ted Williams

1954 Bowman Ted Williams

#65 Mickey Mantle

1954 Bowman Mickey Mantle

#89 Willie Mays

1954 Bowman Willie Mays

#161 Yogi Berra

1954 Bowman Yogi Berra

#170 Duke Snider

1954 Bowman Baseball Duke Snider

#1 Phil Rizzuto

1954 Bowman Phil Rizzuto

Top eBay Listings

1954 Bowman #110 Red Schoendienst Cardinals HOF Graded BVG 6.5 EX-MT+
$35.00

1954 Bowman #30 Del Rice Cardinals Graded BVG 7 Near Mint
$20.00

1954 Bowman #90 Roy Campanella Brooklyn Dodgers HOF Graded BVG 6.5 EX-MT+
$125.00

1954 ROCKY BRIDGES BOWMAN SGC GRADED 5.5 VINTAGE (EX+) CINCINNATI
$7.99

1954 Bowman #89 Willie Mays NY Giants HOF Graded BVG 5 EX
$222.00

1954 Bowman #78 Curt Simmons SGC 92
$150.00

1954 Bowman #170 DUKE SNIDER Dodgers HOF graded EX 5 by SGC Duke of Brooklyn!
$83.59

1954 Bowman Baseball #145 BILLY MARTIN Yankees SGC 50
$37.44

1954 Bowman Mickey Mantle #65 Yankees BVG 3.5 vg+ NR
$182.50

1954 BOWMAN #177 WHITEY FORD GRADED SGC AUTHENTIC..VERY SHARP
$49.00

1954 Bowman ED MATHEWS #64 ... GRADED SGC 92 (8.5) ... CENTERED!
$127.50

1954 BOWMAN # 170 DUKE SNIDER SGC 50 !!
$79.99

1954 BOWMAN #60 FRED BACZEWSKI SGC 88 GGR1672
$49.99

1954 BOWMAN #149 BOB YOUNG SGC 88 GGR1673
$49.99

1954 Bowman #170 DUKE SNIDER Dodgers SGC 45 3.5
$74.99

1954 Bowman Don Lund BVG 7.5
$22.50
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Set Checklist

1954 Bowman Baseball Set Checklist

1954 Bowman Baseball Duke Snider
1 Phil Rizzuto - New York Yankees
2 Jackie Jensen - Boston Red Sox
3 Marion Fricano - Philadelphia Athletics
4 Bob Hooper - Cleveland Indians
5 Billy Hunter - Baltimore Orioles
6 Nellie Fox - Chicago White Sox
7 Walt Dropo - Detroit Tigers
8 Jim Busby - Washington Senators
9 Davey Williams - New York Giants
10 Carl Erskine - Brooklyn Dodgers
11 Sid Gordon - Pittsburgh Pirates
12 Roy McMillan - Cincinnati Reds
13 Paul Minner - Chicago Cubs
14 Jerry Staley - St. Louis Cardinals
15 Richie Ashburn - Philadelphia Phillies
16 Jim Wilson - Milwaukee Braves
17 Tom Gorman - New York Yankees
18 Hoot Evers - Boston Red Sox
19 Bobby Shantz - Philadelphia Athletics
20 Art Houtteman - Cleveland Indians
21 Vic Wertz - Baltimore Orioles
22 Sam Mele - Chicago White Sox
23 Harvey Kuenn RC - Detroit Tigers
24 Bob Porterfield - Washington Senators
25 Wes Westrum - New York Giants
26 Billy Cox - Brooklyn Dodgers
27 Dick Cole RC - Pittsburgh Pirates
28 Jim Greengrass - Cincinnati Reds
29 Johnny Klippstein - Chicago Cubs
30 Del Rice Jr. - St. Louis Cardinals
31 Smoky Burgess - Philadelphia Phillies
32 Del Crandall - Milwaukee Braves
33 Vic Raschi - New York Yankees
34 Sammy White - Boston Red Sox
35 Eddie Joost - Philadelphia Athletics
36 George Strickland - Cleveland Indians
37 Dick Kokos - Baltimore Orioles
38 Minnie Minoso  - Chicago White Sox
39 Ned Garver - Detroit Tigers
40 Gil Coan - Washington Senators
41 Alvin Dark  - New York Giants
42 Billy Loes - Brooklyn Dodgers
43 Bob Friend - Pittsburgh Pirates
44 Harry Perkowski - Cincinnati Reds
45 Ralph Kiner - Chicago Cubs
46 Rip Repulski - St. Louis Cardinals
47 Granny Hamner - Philadelphia Phillies
48 Jack Dittmer - Milwaukee Braves
49 Harry Byrd - New York Yankees
50 George Kell - Boston Red Sox
51 Alex Kellner - Philadelphia Athletics
52 Myron Ginsberg - Cleveland Indians
53 Don Lenhardt - Baltimore Orioles
54 Chico Carrasquel - Chicago White Sox
55 Jim Delsing - Detroit Tigers
56 Mickey McDermott - Washington Senators
57 Hoyt Wilhelm  - New York Giants
58 Pee Wee Reese - Brooklyn Dodgers
59 Bob Schultz - Pittsburgh Pirates
60 Fred Baczewski RC - Cincinnati Reds
61 Eddie Miksis - Chicago Cubs
62 Enos Slaughter - St. Louis Cardinals
63 Earl Torgeson - Philadelphia Phillies
64 Eddie Mathews - Milwaukee Braves
65 Mickey Mantle - New York Yankees
66 Ted Williams - Boston Red Sox
66 Jim Piersall - Boston Red Sox
67 Carl Scheib - Philadelphia Athletics
68 Bobby Avila - Cleveland Indians
69 Clint Courtney - Baltimore Orioles
70 Willard Marshall - Chicago White Sox
71 Ted Gray - Detroit Tigers
72 Eddie Yost - Washington Senators
73 Don Mueller - New York Giants
74 Jim Gilliam - Brooklyn Dodgers
75 Max Surkont - Pittsburgh Pirates
76 Joe Nuxhall - Cincinnati Reds
77 Bob Rush - Chicago Cubs
78 Sal Yvars - St. Louis Cardinals
79 Curt Simmons - Philadelphia Phillies
80 Johnny Logan - Milwaukee Braves
81 Jerry Coleman - New York Yankees
82 Billy Goodman - Boston Red Sox
83 Ray Murray - Philadelphia Athletics
84 Larry Doby - Cleveland Indians
85 Jim Dyck - Baltimore Orioles
86 Harry Dorish - Chicago White Sox
87 Don Lund - Detroit Tigers
88 Tom Umphlett RC - Washington Senators
89 Willie Mays - New York Giants
90 Roy Campanella - Brooklyn Dodgers
91 Cal Abrams - Pittsburgh Pirates
92 Ken Raffensberger - Cincinnati Reds
93 Bill Serena - Chicago Cubs
94 Solly Hemus - St. Louis Cardinals
95 Robin Roberts - Philadelphia Phillies
96 Joe Adcock - Milwaukee Braves
97 Gil McDougald - New York Yankees
98 Ellis Kinder - Boston Red Sox
99 Pete Suder - Philadelphia Athletics
100 Mike Garcia - Cleveland Indians
101 Don Larsen RC - Baltimore Orioles
102 Billy Pierce - Chicago White Sox
103 Steve Souchock - Detroit Tigers
104 Frank Shea - Washington Senators
105 Sal Maglie - New York Giants
106 Clem Labine - Brooklyn Dodgers
107 Paul LaPalme - Pittsburgh Pirates
108 Bobby Adams - Cincinnati Reds
109 Roy Smalley - Chicago Cubs
110 Red Schoendienst - St. Louis Cardinals
111 Murry Dickson - Philadelphia Phillies
112 Andy Pafko - Milwaukee Braves
113 Allie Reynolds - New York Yankees
114 Willard Nixon - Boston Red Sox
115 Don Bollweg - Philadelphia Athletics
116 Luke Easter - Cleveland Indians
117 Dick Kryhoski - Baltimore Orioles
118 Bob Boyd  - Chicago White Sox
119 Fred Hatfield - Detroit Tigers
120 Mel Hoderlein RC - Washington Senators
121 Ray Katt RC - New York Giants
122 Carl Furillo - Brooklyn Dodgers
123 Toby Atwell - Pittsburgh Pirates
124 Gus Bell - Cincinnati Reds
125 Warren Hacker - Chicago Cubs
126 Cliff Chambers - St. Louis Cardinals
127 Del Ennis - Philadelphia Phillies
128 Ebba St. Claire - New York Giants
129 Hank Ba - New York Yankees
130 Milt Bolling - Boston Red Sox
131 Joe Astroth - Philadelphia Athletics
132 Bob Feller - Cleveland Indians
133 Duane Pillette - Baltimore Orioles
134 Luis Aloma - Chicago White Sox
135 Johnny Pesky - Detroit Tigers
136 Clyde Vollmer - Washington Senators
137 Al Corwin - New York Giants
138 Gil Hodges - Brooklyn Dodgers
139 Preston Ward - Pittsburgh Pirates
140 Saul Rogovin - Cincinnati Reds
141 Joe Garagiola - Chicago Cubs
142 Al Brazle - St. Louis Cardinals
143 Willie Jones - Philadelphia Phillies
144 Ernie Johnson RC - Milwaukee Braves
145 Billy Martin - New York Yankees
146 Dick Gernert - Boston Red Sox
147 Joe DeMaestri - Philadelphia Athletics
148 Dale Mitchell - Cleveland Indians
149 Bobby Young - Baltimore Orioles
150 Cass Michaels - Chicago White Sox
151 Pat Mullin - Detroit Tigers
152 Mickey Vernon - Washington Senators
153 Whitey Lockman - New York Giants
154 Don Newcombe - Brooklyn Dodgers
155 Frank Thomas RC - Pittsburgh Pirates
156 Rocky Bridges - Cincinnati Reds
157 Turk Lown - Chicago Cubs
158 Stu Miller - St. Louis Cardinals
159 Johnny Lindell - Philadelphia Phillies
160 Danny O'Connell - Milwaukee Braves
161 Yogi Berra - New York Yankees
162 Ted Lepcio - Boston Red Sox
163 Dave Philley - Philadelphia Athletics
164 Early Wynn - Cleveland Indians
165 Johnny Groth - Baltimore Orioles
166 Sandy Consuegra - Chicago White Sox
167 Billy Hoeft - Detroit Tigers
168 Ed Fitz Gerald - Washington Senators
169 Larry Jansen - New York Giants
170 Duke Snider - Brooklyn Dodgers
171 Carlos Bernier - Pittsburgh Pirates
172 Andy Seminick - Cincinnati Reds
173 Dee Fondy - Chicago Cubs
174 Pete Castiglione - St. Louis Cardinals
175 Mel Clark - Philadelphia Phillies
176 Vern Bickford - Milwaukee Braves
177 Whitey Ford - New York Yankees
178 Del Wilber - Boston Red Sox
179 Morrie Martin - Philadelphia Athletics
180 Joe Tipton - Washington Senators
181 Les Moss - Baltimore Orioles
182 Sherm Lollar - Chicago White Sox
183 Matt Batts - Detroit Tigers
184 Mickey Grasso - Cleveland Indians
185 Daryl Spencer RC - New York Giants
186 Russ Meyer - Brooklyn Dodgers
187 Vern Law - Pittsburgh Pirates
188 Frank Smith - Cincinnati Reds
189 Randy Jackson - Chicago Cubs
190 Joe Presko - St. Louis Cardinals
191 Karl Drews - Philadelphia Phillies
192 Lew Burdette - Milwaukee Braves
193 Eddie Robinson - New York Yankees
194 Sid Hudson - Boston Red Sox
195 Bob Cain - Philadelphia Athletics
196 Bob Lemon - Cleveland Indians
197 Lou Kretlow - Baltimore Orioles
198 Virgil Trucks - Chicago White Sox
199 Steve Gromek - Detroit Tigers
200 Connie Marrero - Washington Senators
201 Bobby Thomson - Milwaukee Braves
202 George Shuba - Brooklyn Dodgers
203 Vic Janowicz - Pittsburgh Pirates
204 Jack Collum RC - Cincinnati Reds
205 Hal Jeffcoat - Chicago Cubs
206 Steve Bilko - St. Louis Cardinals
207 Stan Lopata - Philadelphia Phillies
208 Johnny Antonelli - New York Giants
209 Gene Woodling - New York Yankees
210 Jim Piersall - Boston Red Sox
211 Jim Robertson RC - Philadelphia Athletics
212 Owen Friend - Cleveland Indians
213 Dick Littlefield - Baltimore Orioles
214 Ferris Fain - Chicago White Sox
215 Johnny Bucha - Detroit Tigers
216 Jerry Snyder - Washington Senators
217 Hank Thompson - New York Giants
218 Preacher Roe - Brooklyn Dodgers
219 Hal Rice - Pittsburgh Pirates
220 Hobie Landrith RC - Cincinnati Reds
221 Frank Baumholtz  - Chicago Cubs
222 Memo Luna RC - St. Louis Cardinals
223 Steve Ridzik - Philadelphia Phillies
224 Bill Bruton  - Milwaukee Braves

Base Variations Set Checklist

12 Roy McMillan - At Bats: 551/1290
12 Roy McMillan - At Bats: 557/1296
22 Sam Mele - putouts: 213/1661
22 Sam Mele - putouts: 217/1665)
25 Wes Westrum - field avg: 1000/987
25 Wes Westrum field avg : - 982/986
26 Billy Cox - field avg : 1000/960
26 Billy Cox - field avg : 972/960
28 Jim Greengrass - birthplace Addison, NJ
28 Jim Greengrass - birthplace Addison, NY
33 Victor Raschi - no traded line
33 Victor Raschi - traded line
35 Eddie Joost - Quiz answer is 8
35 Eddie Joost - Quiz answer is 33
38 Orestes Minoso - field avg:895/961
38 Orestes Minoso - field avg:963/963
41 Alvin Dark - 986/960 field avg
41 Alvin Dark - 968/960 field avg
43 Bob Friend - 20 shutouts in quiz question
43 Bob Friend - 16 shutouts in quiz question
47 Granville Hamner - field avg:970/953
47 Granville Hamner - field avg:953/951
53 Don Lenhardt - field avg :969/984
53 Don Lenhardt - field avg : 966/983
61 Eddie Miksis - 954/962 field avg
61 Eddie Miksis - 954/961 field avg
67 Carl Scheib - 306 pct with two lines under bio
67 Carl Scheib - 306 pct with one line under bio
67 Carl Scheib - 300 pct
80 John Logan - Runs : 106
80 John Logan - Runs : 100
81 Jerry Coleman - field avg:1000/975
81 Jerry Coleman - field avg: 952/975 field
82 Bill Goodman - field avg : 965/986
82 Bill Goodman - field avg :972/985
85 Jim Dyck - 926/956 field avg
85 Jim Dyck - 947/960 field avg
93 Bill Serena - field avg : 983/966
93 Bill Serena - field avg : 977/966
94 Solly Hemus - assists : 476/1343
94 Solly Hemus - assists : 477/1343
99 Pete Suder - field avg : 985/974
99 Pete Suder - field avg : 978/974
10 Stephen Souchock - putouts:144/1192
103 Stephen Souchock - putouts:147/1195
105 Sal Maglie - Quiz answer is 8
105 Sal Maglie - Quiz answer is 1904
124 Gus Bell - errors : 15/27
124 Gus Bell - errors : 11/26
138 Gil Hodges - field avg : 993/991
138 Gil Hodges - field avg :992/991
139 Preston Ward - field avg : 961/992
139 Preston Ward - field avg : 990/992
140 Saul Rogovin - 7:12 won/lost with 2 stikeouts
140 Saul Rogovin - 7:12 won/lost with 62 stikeouts
140 Saul Rogovin - 8:12 won/lost
145 Billy Martin - field avg :985/983
145 Billy Martin - field avg : 983/982
153 Whitey Lockman - assists : 100/331
153 Whitey Lockman - assists : 102/333
156 Everett Bridges - assists : 320/467
156 Everett Bridges - assists : 328/475
163 Dave Philley - 152 games with no traded line
163 Dave Philley - 152 games with traded line
163 Dave Philley - 157 games with traded line
174 Pete Castiglione - field avg :966/959
174 Pete Castiglione - field avg :970/959
179 Morris Martin - ERA: 44
179 Morris Martin - ERA: 444
185 Daryl Spencer - field avg : 941/944
185 Daryl Spencer - field avg : 933/936
212 Owen Friend - field avg : 964/957
212 Owen Friend - field avg : 967/958
216 Jerry Snyder - field avg : 988/988
216 Jerry Snyder - field avg : 968/968
217 Henry Thompson - field avg :956/951
217 Henry Thompson - field avg :958/952
Top eBay Listings

Ted Williams 1954 Bowman PSA NM-MT 8 AMAZING CARD!! MUST SEE THE SCAN!!!
$5,699.00

1954 Bowman Baseball - 22 Cards - All PSA 8
$1,425.00

1954 Bowman #78 Sal Yvars *Cardinals* PSA 9 MINT Cert #12329710
$799.99

1954 Bowman #119 Fred Hatfield *Tigers* PSA 8 NM-MT cert #16389118
$49.99

1954 Bowman #115 Don Bollweg *A's* PSA 8 NM-MT Cert #16063064
$49.99

1954 Bowman #100 Mike Garcia Indians Graded PSA 8 NM-MT
$50.00

1954 Bowman #119 Fred Hatfield Tigers Graded PSA 8 NM-MT
$50.00

1954 Bowman #194 Sid Hudson Red Sox Graded PSA 8 NM-MT
$100.00

1954 Bowman #195 Bob Cain Athletics Graded PSA 8 NM-MT
$50.00

1954 Bowman #32 Del Crandall Braves Graded PSA 6 EX-MT
$60.00

1954 Bowman #57 Hoyt Wilhelm NY Giants HOF Graded PSA 7 Near Mint
$50.00

1954 Bowman #69 Clint Courtney Orioles Graded PSA 8 NM-MT
$50.00

1954 Bowman #87 Don Lund Tigers Graded PSA 8 NM-MT
$50.00

CLEM LABINE Dodgers 1954 Bowman #106 PSA PR 1
$12.00

BILLY COX Dodgers 1954 Bowman #26 PSA 7 NM (OC)
$28.00

1954 Bowman 66 Ted Williams. PSA 2 Good. Priced to sell.
$625.00
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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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