First off, we at MHCC hope everyone had a happy and safe July 4th weekend. We just put the finishing touches on our August auction, which promises to be one of our strongest in quite some time. A few weeks ago, we spotlighted the #4 PSA Set Registry ranked 1948 Leaf Football set that will be in the upcoming auction. Today we are pleased to add the #2 ranked 1948 Bowman Football set as well, making this event one of the most impressive gridiron representations that Mile High Card Company has ever had.
In 1948, rivals Bowman and Leaf entered the football card market with premier editions that could not have been any more diverse. The Leaf set was like going to a rager; chaotic, out of control and filled with wild color variations, misspelled names, and various other corrections that brought the 98-card basic set up to a ridiculous 145-card master set. It was as though Leaf just made up the rules as they went along, leaving collectors scrambling to figure out how to build a set while frequently discovering some new version of a previous released card. Bowman, on the other hand, was like attending a cotillion; structured, refined, offering a simple black and white pasteboard with sharp photography on the front and pertinent information on the back. There were no additional variations or corrections here. No sir, the ’48 Bowman set was professional all the way! Ironically, the “anything goes” approach that has made the 1948 Leaf Set more popular with today’s challenge-seeking collectors was the primary reason that led to Leaf’s demise after just two short years.
Printed on three sheets of 36 cards each, the Bowman set was slightly larger than the Leaf set at 108, however the third and final sheet was short-printed and cards that are numbered as a multiple of three are sufficiently scarcer. Important short prints include the rookie cards of Johnny Lujack (#3), Charley Conerley (#12), Bulldog Turner (#36) and the final card of the set, Buford Ray (#108). Hall of Famers Steve Van Buren, Charlie Trippi, Sammy Baugh, Bob Waterfield, Alex Wojciechowicz, Pete Pihos, Bill Dudley, George McAfee, Bruce Smith and Sid Luckman also make their cardboard debut.
The featured assemblage ranks #2 Current and All-Time on the PSA Set Registry. With a GPA of 8.421, this set is just one or two upgrades away from becoming the finest 1948 Bowman Football set ever registered with PSA as the top collection presently has an 8.44 rating. Every card in the set is graded PSA 8 or higher, with over 42% of the collection graded MINT. Key cards graded PSA 9 include #1 Tereshinski, 17 Trippi, 22 Baugh, 26 Waterfield and 61 Wojciechowicz, as well as “one and only” PSA 9 cards of #4, 5, 18, 38, 51, 70, 72, and 102. Card #11 and 97 (both PSA 8.5) are also “one of one” with none graded higher. In fact, 62 of the 108 cards are at the highest possible existing grade, leaving 46 potentials ways to upgrade this collection and take over the top spot on the PSA Set Registry. This collection is being offered as a complete set as well as each card offered individually, with the final sale going to whichever total (the set versus the sum of the individual lots) is higher.