This Week in Sports Cards #5

This week I asked folks on Twitter if they preferred 1952 Bowman Large or 1952 Bowman Small football cards. It turns out; size doesn’t matter.

1952 Bowman Small Sammy Baugh

1953 Topps Store Window Display Poster

I shared the following photo of a 1953 Topps store window display with Bob Feller on Twitter the other day because it’s the sort of baseball card advertising history I’ve been following and collecting lately.

1953 Topps Baseball Store Window Display Poster

Topps sent this poster to retail stores to advertise the set. Robert Edward Auctions and Love of the Game Auctions have sold copies the past few years for well over $1k. It’s a pretty rare item but is “undervalued” since so many reproductions were made. Robert Edwards wrote that they had seen fewer than a dozen authentic versions. Authentic versions should have folds and measure about 7×11 inches.

Hobby Reads

1950 Bowman Card Panel and Sales Letter

1950-52 Bowman baseball cards have been gaining popularity lately. The hashtag #art often accompanies them due to how awesome the hand-painted reproductions of black and white photos look. And last week, I wrote about a 1978 Topps football dealer sheet. Topps sent these specification sheets to dealers to drum up sales and advertise upcoming releases. So what happens when you combine early Bowman cards and something akin to a dealer sheet? One of the coolest collectibles I’ve ever seen.

This 1950 Bowman uncut panel features Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson and the letter reads:

Note To The Jobber

These separate strips of the new “Bowman Baseball” picture cards are included free of charge in this carton so that you and your salesmen can easily see what a terrific card gum series “Bowman Baseball” is:

Have your salesmen show these cards to your retailers. Spot a box of “Bowmans Baseball” up front in every store and watch the kids go wild to get it.

When reordering be sure to ask for Bowmans Baseball Bubble Gum

In case you didn’t know, the term “jobber” describes a small-scale wholesaler or middleman in the retail goods trade, though the term was dying out around 1950.

In the News

Topps 40 Years of Baseball Prizes

The Topps 40th anniversary contest was pretty incredible.

Topps spent a ton of money to place every card they had ever made into packs. Topps inserted cards under $50 into packs, and cards valued over $50 were redemptions. At the time, $1M in prizes was available.

1991 Topps Baseball Box

The grand prize contest was separate and entered by collectors sending in a filled-out contest card, inserted into packs of 1991 Topps baseball cards for a chance to win. The first-place prize was every Topps set from 1952-1991. Forty second-place prizes were Topps complete sets from a single random year.

This week, Beckett released an excellent article on the 1991 Topps set, and the contest, if you’d like to learn more.

I have read a few other articles on the contest too, and none of them discuss the following image, which is as a 3rd place prize of 40 Topps vintage baseball packs, 1951-1990. But based on a few Heritage Auction listings, it seems these may have just been internal prototypes. If you have any info on these pack displays, please leave a comment below or contact me directly.

Topps 40 Years of Baseball 3rd Place Prize

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