1952 Bowman Large Football Cards

1952 Bowman Large Football Cards



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When Topps entered the ring to fight against Bowman in the sports card business in 1952, there were some immediate changes. One of those involved Bowman increasing the size of its cards, and the 1952 Bowman football set was issued in two different formats as a result.

At first, the 144-card set was issued in a similar format as the 1951 set: cards measured 2 1/16 inches by 3 1/8 inches and were divided into four 36-card printing sheets. At some point, the company decided to make the cards bigger (2 ½ inches by 3 ¾ inches) and printed up the same 144 cards on larger—but still 36-card—printing sheets. The larger size seems to have resulted in certain cards getting caught up in the machinery at the factory and withdrawn, since several cards are notoriously short-printed.

Other than the size, the cards in the small and large sets are exactly the same. Card fronts feature a painted picture of a player or coach. A pennant contains his name and a team logo appears either above or below it. A white border surrounds the picture. Card backs feature a written biography and a first for Bowman: lines of statistics from the previous seasons, except for linemen and coaches. At the top, a card number appears in the left corner, just below the name. The team and position appear to the right of the number, with a few vital statistics over to the right. At the bottom of the card, a line above the copyright states College to Pro, as a way of pointing out that some of the players are shown with their college teams.

On the surface, there are several new features for 1952. First, all teams are represented by their coach. This offers a way for collectors to pick up cards of legendary coaches like Paul Brown, George Halas and Steve Owen who otherwise wouldn't have had many mainstream cards. Secondly, there were college logos shown on the card fronts for rookie players (their pro teams were listed on the back, however). Finally, the appearance of statistics showed that Topps's success with their 1952 baseball card set had definitely caught them off-guard.

Collectors overlook all of those things due to the fact that the cards were made larger and issued as the same set. In effect, Bowman was preparing to make its 1953 baseball set, which used the larger size. Due to the troubles getting the larger cards through the process of printing and cutting, it has been said that several of the cards on an outer edge of every sheet were damaged and withdrawn right at the factory. There are several cards in the Large set that are short-printed, with #144 Jim Lansford being the toughest to find in any condition. Card #72 of John Schweder is also tough. Both cards would have been on the lower right corner of their printing sheet.

Key rookies from the set aside from coaches like Paul Brown and George Halas include Frank Gifford, Art Donovan, Gino Marchetti, Ollie Matson, Hugh McElhenny, Jack Christiansen and Yale Lary. In both sets, cards numbered 73-144 are considered to be slightly more scarce than the earlier series, but the short-printed cards in the larger set are even scarcer. However, the short-printed cards from the large set do not correspond to any scarcity in the smaller issue.

Key 1952 Bowman Large Football Cards:

1952 Bowman Large Football Cards 1

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1952 Bowman Large Football Cards 11

Set Checklist

1952 Bowman Large Football Checklist

Base Set Checklist

144 cards.
*Short prints noted.*

1 Norm Van Brocklin - Los Angeles Rams *
2 Otto Graham - Cleveland Browns
3 Doak Walker - Detroit Lions
4 Steve Owen - New York Giants RC
5 Frankie Albert - San Francisco 49ers
6 Laurie Niemi - Washington Redskins
7 Chuck Hunsinger - Chicago Bears
8 Ed Modzelewski - Pittsburgh Steelers
9 Joe Spencer - Green Bay Packers *
10 Chuck Bednarik - Philadelphia Eagles *
11 Barney Poole - Dallas Texans
12 Charley Trippi - Chicago Cardinals
13 Tom Fears - Los Angeles Rams
14 Paul Brown - Cleveland Browns RC
15 Leon Hart - Detroit Lions
16 Frank Gifford - New York Giants RC
17 Y.A. Tittle - San Francisco 49ers
18 Charlie Justice - Washington Redskins *
19 George Connor - Chicago Bears *
20 Lynn Chandnois - Pittsburgh Steelers
21 Bill Howton - Green Bay Packers RC
22 Ken Snyder - Philadelphia Eagles
23 Gino Marchetti - Dallas Texans RC
24 John Karras - Chicago Cardinals
25 Tank Younger - Los Angeles Rams
26 Tommy Thompson - Cleveland Browns
27 Bob Miller - Detroit Lions RC *
28 Kyle Rote - New York Giants RC *
29 Hugh McElhenny - San Francisco 49ers RC
30 Sammy Baugh - Washington Redskins
31 Jim Dooley - Chicago Bears RC
32 Ray Mathews - Pittsburgh Steelers
33 Fred Cone - Green Bay Packers
34 Al Pollard - Philadelphia Eagles
35 Brad Ecklund - Dallas Texans
36 John Lee Hancock - Chicago Cardinals RC *
37 Elroy Hirsch - Los Angeles Rams *
38 Keever Jankovich - Cleveland Browns
39 Emlen Tunnell - New York Giants
40 Steve Dowden - Green Bay Packers
41 Claude Hipps - Pittsburgh Steelers
42 Norm Standlee - San Francisco 49ers
43 Dick Todd - Washington Redskins
44 Babe Parilli - Green Bay Packers
45 Steve Van Buren - Philadelphia Eagles *
46 Art Donovan - Dallas Texans RC *
47 Bill Fischer - Chicago Cardinals
48 George Halas - Chicago Bears RC
49 Jerrell Price - Chicago Cardinals
50 John Sandusky - Cleveland Browns RC
51 Ray Beck - New York Giants
52 Jim Martin - Detroit Lions
53 Joe Bach - Pittsburgh Steelers
54 Glen Christian - San Francisco 49ers *
55 Andy Davis - Washington Redskins *
56 Tobin Rote - Green Bay Packers
57 Wayne Millner - Philadelphia Eagles RC
58 Zollie Toth - Dallas Texans
59 Jack Jennings - Chicago Cardinals
60 Bill McColl - Chicago Bears
61 Les Richter - Los Angeles Rams RC
62 Walt Michaels - Cleveland Browns RC
63 Charley Conerly - New York Giants *
64 Howard Hartley - Pittsburgh Steelers *
65 Jerome Smith - San Francisco 49ers
66 James Clark - Washington Redskins
67 Dick Logan - Cleveland Browns
68 Wayne Robinson - Philadelphia Eagles
69 James Hammond - Dallas Texans
70 Gene Schroeder - Chicago Bears
71 Tex Coulter - New York Giants
72 John Schweder - Pittsburgh Steelers RC *
73 Vitamin Smith - Los Angeles Rams *
74 Joe Campanella - Cleveland Browns RC
75 Joe Kuharich - Chicago Cardinals RC
76 Herman Clark - Chicago Bears
77 Dan Edwards - Dallas Texans
101 Arnie Weinmeister - New York Giants
102 Bobby Cross - Chicago Bears
103 Don Paul - Chicago Cardinals
104 Buddy Young - Dallas Texans
105 Lou Groza - Cleveland Browns
106 Ray Pelfrey - Green Bay Packers
107 Maurice Nipp - Philadelphia Eagles
108 Hubert Johnston - Washington Redskins RC *
109 Volney Quinlan - Los Angeles Rams RC *
110 Jack Simmons - Chicago Bears
111 George Ratterman - Cleveland Browns
112 John Badaczewski - Washington Redskins
113 Bill Reichardt - Green Bay Packers
114 Art Weiner - Dallas Texans
115 Keith Flowers - Detroit Lions
116 Russ Craft - Philadelphia Eagles
117 Jim O'Donahue - San Francisco 49ers RC *
118 Darrell Hogan - Pittsburgh Steelers *
119 Frank Ziegler - Philadelphia Eagles
120 Dan Towler - Los Angeles Rams
121 Fred Williams - Chicago Bears
122 Jim Phelan - Dallas Texans
123 Eddie Price - New York Giants
124 Chet Ostrowski - Washington Redskins
125 Leo Nomellini - San Francisco 49ers
126 Steve Romanik - Chicago Bears RC *
127 Ollie Matson - Chicago Cardinals RC *
128 Dante Lavelli - Cleveland Browns
129 Jack Christiansen - Detroit Lions RC
130 Dom Moselle - Green Bay Packers
131 John Rapacz - New York Giants
132 Chuck Ortmann - Pittsburgh Steelers
133 Bob Williams - Chicago Bears
134 Chuck Ulrich - Chicago Cardinals
135 Gene Ronzani - Green Bay Packers RC *
136 Bert Rechichar - Cleveland Browns *
137 Bob Waterfield - Los Angeles Rams
138 Bobby Walston - Philadelphia Eagles RC
139 Jerry Shipkey - Pittsburgh Steelers
140 Yale Lary - Detroit Lions RC
141 Gordon Soltau - San Francisco 49ers
142 Tom Landry - New York Giants
143 John Papit - Washington Redskins
144 Jim Lansford - Dallas Texans RC *

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Author 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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