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1948 Bowman Basketball Cards

1948 Bowman Basketball Cards

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1948 Bowman Basketball card set was the first nationally distributed basketball release. It would also be the only set of basketball cards Bowman ever issued before being sold to Topps in the 1950s. At the time, professional basketball was still a fairly new and fledgling league. Founded in 1946, the card companies weren't convinced it was worthwhile. After this set, it would be nearly a decade before another national basketball set was produced.

1948 Bowman Basketball Set Details

Measuring 2-1/16 by 2-1/2 inches, the checklist is comprised of players from the Basketball Association of America (BAA), the precursor to the NBA we know today. The set was issued in two series of 36 cards each. The second series is much tougher than the first. Series two also has the key card of the set, the George Mikan rookie card (#69). He was the first big man of the game and one of the sport's early stars.

1948 Bowman Basketball Cards 1

Other notable rookies in 1948 Bowman Basketball include Carl Braun (#72), Joe Fulks (#34), Red Holzman (#32), Jim Pollard(#66), Max Zaslofsky (#55), Andy Phillip (#9), Buddy Jeannette (#38) and Arnie Risen (#58).

1948 Bowman Basketball Design

1948 Bowman Basketball card fronts carried the same basic design Bowman would use for its first series of baseball cards in 1949. A colored-in black-and-white player picture appeared with a solid background. There are no names, team logos or any writing anywhere on the front.

Backs feature a card number and the player's name at the top, followed by his vital statistics. A short biographical career write-up follows. Collectors can also learn about several wrapper redemptions available through Bowman. The backs are printed in black ink, with the card number and offer details in red. Scattered throughout the set were cards that had diagrams of plays on them as a way of helping kids understand the fundamentals of the game. The play is then described on the back.

1948 Bowman Basketball Cards 2

1948 Bowman Basketball Condition Issues / Variations

The 1948 Bowman Basketball card set can be difficult to assemble in high-grade. However, no specific condition issue is common to the entire set. Instead, general wear and tear and the age of the paper stock attribute to their condition. One anomaly that often is seen in the second series is cards missing the solid color background. These variations are most likely the result of the printing press running out of ink.

1948 Bowman Basketball Cards 3

Key Cards

Top 1948 Bowman Basketball Cards

George Mikan RC #69

1948 Bowman Basketball Cards 4

Carl Braun RC #72

1948 Bowman Basketball Cards 5

Jim Pollard RC #66

1948 Bowman Basketball Cards 6

Joe Fulks RC #34

1948 Bowman Basketball Cards 7

William Holzman RC #32

1948 Bowman Basketball Cards 8

1948 Bowman Basketball Cards 9

Set Checklist

1948 Bowman Basketball Checklist

Base Set Checklist

72 cards.
1948 Bowman Basketball Cards 1

1 Ernie Calverley - Providence Steamrollers RC
2 Ralph Hamilton - Fort Wayne Pistons
3 Gale Bishop - Philadelphia Warriors
4 Fred Lewis - Indianapolis Jets RC
5 Basketball Play
6 Bob Feerick - Washington Capitols RC
7 John Logan - St. Louis Bombers
8 Mel Riebe - Boston Celtics
9 Andy Phillip - Chicago Stags RC
10 Bob Davies - Rochester Royals RC
11 Basketball Play
12 Kenny Sailors - Providence Steamrollers RC
13 Paul Armstrong - Fort Wayne Pistons
14 Howard Dallmar - Philadelphia Warriors RC
15 Bruce Hale - Indianapolis Jets RC
16 Sid Hertzberg - Washington Capitols
17 Basketball Play
18 Red Rocha - St. Louis Bombers
19 Eddie Ehlers - Boston Celtics
20 Gene Vance - Chicago Stags
21 Fuzzy Levane - Rochester Royals RC
22 Earl Shannon - Providence Steamrollers
23 Basketball Play
24 Leo Crystal Klier - Fort Wayne Pistons
25 George Senesky - Philadelphia Warriors
26 Price Brookfield - Indianapolis Jets
27 John Norlander - Washington Capitols
28 Don Putman - St. Louis Bombers
29 Basketball Play
30 Jack Garfinkel - Boston Celtics
31 Chuck Gilmur - Chicago Stags
32 Red Holzman - Rochester Royals RC
33 Jack Smiley - Fort Wayne Pistons
34 Joe Fulks - Philadelphia Warriors RC
35 Basketball Play
36 Hal Tidrick - Indianapolis Jets
37 Don Carlson - Minneapolis Lakers
38 Buddy Jeannette - Baltimore Bullets RC
39 Ray Kuka - New York Knicks
40 Stan Miasek - Chicago Stags
41 Basketball Play
42 George Nostrand - Providence Steamrollers
43 Chuck Halbert - Boston Celtics RC
44 Arnie Johnson - Rochester Royals
45 Bob Doll - St. Louis Bombers
46 Bones McKinney - Washington Capitols RC
47 Basketball Play
48 Ed Sadowski - Philadelphia Warriors
49 Bob Kinney - Fort Wayne Pistons
50 Charlie Black - Indianapolis Jets
51 Jack Dwan - Minneapolis Lakers
52 Connie Simmons - Baltimore Bullets RC
53 Basketball Play
54 Bud Palmer - New York Knicks RC
55 Max Zaslofsky - Chicago Stags RC
56 Lee Roy Robbins - Providence Steamrollers
57 Arthur Spector - Boston Celtics
58 Arnie Risen - Rochester Royals RC
59 Basketball Play
60 Ariel Maughan - St. Louis Bombers
61 Dick O'Keefe - Washington Capitols
62 Herman Schaefer - Minneapolis Lakers
63 John Mahnken - Baltimore Bullets
64 Tommy Byrnes - New York Knicks
65 Basketball Play
66 Jim Pollard - Minneapolis Lakers RC
67 Lee Mogus - Baltimore Bullets
68 Lee Knorek - New York Knicks
69 George Mikan - Minneapolis Lakers RC
70 Walter Budko - Baltimore Bullets
71 Basketball Play
72 Carl Braun - New York Knicks RC


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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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