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1949 Bowman Color Variation Graded Collection (27)
Starting Bid - $1,000.00 , Sold For - $3,231.25
Extraordinary collection of twenty-seven 1949 Bowman Baseball "Color Variation" cards, highlighted by the rookie cards of Roy Campanella and Gil Hodges, and Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto. Twenty-one are encapsulated as "Authentic" by GAI, five are graded and encapsulated by SGC including Campy and Hodges, and one particularly rare and noteworthy high-number color variation is ungraded. Eighteen of the twenty-seven cards are the very rare gray background variation cards and the remaining nine are the even rarer pink background variations. Gray Background Variations (18): #75 Mayo, 76 Nicholson, 78 Zoldak, 80 McCahan, 82 Page, 84 Roy Campanella (HOF, SGC EX+ 70), 87 Gumpert, 88 Salkeld, 91 Wakefield (SGC VG/EX 50), 93 Stevens, 94 Vernon, 97 Litwhiler, 98 Phil Rizzuto (HOF), 102 Spence (SGC VG/EX 50), 103 Tipton, 106 Early, 107 Lake, and 218 Kryhoski (High #, Ex). Pink Background Variations (9): #77 Bonham, 83 Scheffing, 86 Pesky, 90 Coan, 92 Jones (SGC EX/NM 80), 96 Wright, 100 Gil Hodges (SGC VG 40), 104 Stanky, and 108 Heintzelman. We believe that these gray and pink background variation cards were never actually issued in packs as all other examples we have seen also show evidence of having been carefully hand cut from sheets (which is also related to their great rarity). It is believed that printing errors are responsible for these color variations, and that the rare background variations in 1949 Bowman baseball, as well as 1948 Bowman basketball (which have a very similar design), are the result of cards not going through an ink process, or the printing machines running out of ink. A small quantity of these error sheets was probably given to neighborhood kids or saved from the trash at the Bowman factory in Philadelphia, and later hand cut and long ago dispersed throughout the collecting community. We would be surprised if all of these rare color variation cards did not long ago originate from Philadelphia area collectors, although it is also possible that some error cards were factory cut. Decades ago, legendary Philadelphia area collector Paul Hill told us that he was personally given a couple of 1949 Bowman baseball sheets which included a small number of color variations by a Bowman employee in 1949 (which he very neatly cut up). In the early days of professional grading it was not uncommon for hand-cut cards to be encapsulated with a numerical grade. As the years have rolled by, grading standards have changed. If the cards in this lot that have received a numerical grade were to be submitted for grading today, it is possible that they would not be awarded a numerical grade, and instead be encapsulated as "Authentic." This collection includes some of the finest examples of these rare error cards known to exist. Almost all have an Excellent to Mint appearance. The reverse of each card is fully printed. This is a very attractive and substantial collection of these extremely rare 1949 Bowman Baseball color variations. Total 27 cards. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,231.25
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