Monday, September 20, 2010

Card back countdown: #33 - 1955 Bowman


Here is another set that I believe has one of the more memorable card backs in the countdown, despite it's rather primitive makeup. It may not be fancy or packed with information, but it stands out regardless.

When I think of the card backs of the old Bowman cards, the 1955 card back is what my mind processes first. I'm not sure why, but those card backs appeal to me, almost as much as Bowman's television fronts.


The backs feature the usual information. Vital stats. Career stats and stats from the last year. I like the color scheme as it seems to continue the theme of the front of the cards -- something that didn't become common in card collecting until the 1990s.

But for me, the best part of the backs are the personal stories featured on many of the '55 Bowman cards. This particular card has a recounting of the best pitcher Stan Lopata ever saw.


This card reveals the best hitter that Fred Baczewski ever saw.

That must have been awesome as a kid collector, reading the stories straight from the players' mouths -- or at least they were led to believe that they were straight from the players' mouths.

There were other stories, too:


Sam Mele's biggest thrill in baseball.


Matt Batts' favorite baseball memories.


Sometimes the back featured a simple bio write-up of a player's career. That was probably disappointing in comparison to the other card back options. But the cool part of all this is that the set featured several different backs. It wasn't the same information for each player. That's great. I'd love it if a card set did that again. Each card would be a surprise when you turned it over.

Best of the set:

As you can see by my snarfing up images from Check Out My Cards, I don't have many of this cards. In fact I have one. So I couldn't tell you the best of the set. But someday ... 

Maybe I'll track down one of the umpire cards first.

(previous card back countdown selections):

50. 1978 SSPC Yankee Yearbook
49. 1993 Score
48. 1999 Skybox Thunder
47. 2000 Upper Deck
46. 1999 Skybox Premium
45. 1953 Johnston Cookies Braves
44. 1995 Topps
43. 1997 Fleer
42. 1992 Pinnacle
41. 1989 Bowman
40. 1977 Kellogg's
39. 2004 Topps
38. 2004 Topps Total
37. 1992 Topps
36. 1992 Donruss
35. 2008 Upper Deck Documentary
34. 1963 Fleer

4 comments:

  1. I like the Q&A backs. As many times as I've seen the fronts, I never saw the backs before. Thanks!

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  2. By the way, congrats on getting your 200th follower.

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  3. 1955 Bowman is awesome from a back standpoint. The thing I really like are the "personalized" stories. Many of the players indicated Stan Musial of Ted Williams as their "best hitter" while several others named Bob Feller "best pitcher."

    Card #4 features Eddie Waitkus, whose "Gretaest Thrill" starts off -- oddly enough -- with the words "In 1949 I was shot by a deranged girl."

    I wrote an article about 1955 Bowman cards that was published in SMR. It is available as a PDF file on my site if anybody wishes to read it:

    http://obaks.com/vintagebaseballcards/articles.html

    It's the last article listed on the page.

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  4. Those backs are great! I especially liked Mele's. If you notice, it is actually and error card - Floyd Bevens's name is misspelled.

    I guess having cards with a Color TV design in 1955 was about technologically equivalent to Pacific Online in 1998.

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