When I wrote my article about 14 Incredible Photos Topps and Bowman Used to Inspire Classic Cards, I kicked off the list with a PSA Type 1 photo used for the 1948 Bowman #69 George Mikan card. But that was the only basketball card that made the cut that day. So, today here’s a short basketball-dedicated list of 6 original pictures that Topps, Kahn’s Wieners, Fleer, and Bowman used to create some awesome cards.
1968 Topps Test #5 John Havlicek
Heritage Auctions sold this unique 8×10’’ photograph of John Havlicek that Topps used for their scarce 1968 Topps Test Issue; it sold for just $312 in February 2020.
1960 Kahn’s Wieners Jerry West
I’ve written about all the Kahn’s Wieners sets on the Oddball Archive, including the 1960 set. I don’t know if this photograph is a Type 1 example, but it is autographed and authenticated by JSA. The photo is listed for sale on eBay for $8750
1961 Fleer #19 Tommy Heinsohn
The following 8×10’’ Type 1 image of Tommy Heinsohn is listed for sale on eBay for $1800. Heinsohn was an all-time great and was elected to the Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.
1961 Fleer #22 K.C. Jones
Robert Edward Auctions sold this Type 1 image of Boston Celtics Hall of Fame great K.C. Jones for $1100 in their 2020 fall auction.
1976 Topps #60 Pete Maravich
Lelands Summer Classic Auction had three great Type 1 basketball photos used for the 1976 Topps basketball set, but the Maravich stood out. It sold for $1375.
1948 Bowman #69 George Mikan
Finally, here’s the Mikan photo I mentioned in the introduction. It’s also signed and sold for $30k in Robert Edwards Auction’s 2018 Spring Auction.
I hope you enjoyed seeing these amazing original photographs. If you have any other type photographs that were used to create basketball cards, particularly any from the 80s Fleer basketball sets, please get in touch with me via email, in the comments, or on Twitter. Happy collecting!