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1950 Bowman Football Cards

1950 Bowman Football Cards



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Bowman decided not to issue a football set for 1949 as part of an agreement that allowed Leaf to have a monopoly on the market before leaving. As a result, they took over in 1950 as the dominant company when it came to featuring stars of the gridiron.

The design for the 1950 football set is very close to what Bowman used for baseball players that year. The fronts were very simple, yet striking, featuring a painted photo of a player surrounded by a white border. There were no other elements (name, team, logo, etc.) on the fronts at all. Most cards are positioned vertically, but a few are horizontally oriented. The backs are dominated by a written biography about the player's career. His name appears in red ink at the top, followed by a few vital statistics. In the upper right corner is a Bowman five star logo, and a notation running along the bottom gives the card number and a copyright line.

With the World War II veterans who took advantage of the GI Bill coming out of college, there are several significant rookie stars appearing in the set. Otto Graham, Y.A. Tittle, Lou Groza, Tony Canadeo, Elroy Crazylegs Hirsch, Joe Perry and Marion Motley are some of the big-name players showing up on their first cards.

1950 Bowman had a numbering structure that allowed teammates to be clustered together in groups of two or three cards. In essence, they appeared together in each series. For example, Detroit was the first team in each series (cards #1, 37, 73 and 109) with two or three cards, and then they were followed by Chicago Bears. The set totaled 144 cards, issued in four 36-card printing sheets. There are no scarce series or variations.

Key 1950 Bowman Football Cards:


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Chris Stufflestreet  |  E-Mail Author
Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

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