Reed’s Buys: 1953 Bowman Color Baseball

Today we look at a recent purchase from our Director of Acquisitions, Reed Kasaoka.

He bought a 1953 Bowman Color Baseball Set.

Reed says many consider it one of the nicest and cleanest designs of all time, and it features Kodachrome photos of players rather than the touched-up art that Topps was doing at the time.

“These cards are blazing and sharp. Some as nice as true Mint condition, except for one thing – almost all of the cards have tape marks/residue,” he said.

What is a Reed Buy?

Interestingly enough, the 1953 Bowman Color is one of the smallest sets in the company’s history and printed in two separate series.

Cards 1-112 are the first series or “low numbers,” and cards 113-160 are the second series or “high numbers.”

Often set builders will say it’s extremely difficult to find the high numbers with good centering, thus making it quite costly to build a “high-grade set.”

At almost 70 years ago, Reed says it’s likely a kid took these cards straight out of packs, then taped them on the walls all around their room.

“Hardly anyone took care of trading cards back in the day, which is why they are worth so much these days in top condition,” Reed added.

He says a “true mint set” would be virtually impossible to assemble and cost well into the six figures.

According to Reed, there are no names, words, or logos on the front of the card. All of the information, and more, is on the back of it.

Twenty-eight cards out of 160 in the set feature Hall of Famers like Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, and Whitey Ford.

It also includes what many consider the “nicest action shot of all time on a card,” Pee Wee Reese turning a double play, flying over a player sliding into second base, Reed says.

“This set comes with a great story and can be had for less than what a VG-EX set goes for,” he concluded.

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