30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Flea Market Finds #53b: Vintage Bowman Baseball

When:  Saturday, January 18th
Where:  Branham High School Flea Market
What:  Huge Additions to my Vintage Card Binder
How Much?:  $36

Here's the 2nd part of my trip to the flea market this past weekend.  I broke it down, because I felt that my final purchase deserved its own post.

A few months ago, I stumbled across a vendor at the Capitol Flea Market who sold me some 1977 Burger Chef trays, a vintage Green Bay Packers sign, and some Kenner SLU's.  Well he's the same guy who suggested this flea market and I'm glad I listened to him.

He was there with a newly purchased collection of vintage Bowman baseball cards from the early 50's.  Everything was displayed in a binder and the pricing was simple:  $4/card.  Several people asked how much he'd sell the binder for, but he told each of them the same thing.  Four dollars per card.  No discounts for bulk purchases.

Whoever he bought the collection from definitely took care of the cards, because they were in really nice condition for being sixty years old.  I flipped through the binder and eventually pulled nine cards.

Since all of these guys played years before I was born, I only grabbed players who I had heard of.

Purchase #4:  Vintage Bowman Baseball Cards $36

1950 Bowman #58 Carl Furillo

If you asked me who Carl Furillo was before yesterday, the only thing I could tell you was that he played baseball.  I recognized his name, but the back of the card is what sold me on him.  I'm a fan of players who hit for average and Furillo hit .290 or higher eleven times in his career.

1950 Bowman #59 Ralph Branca

Sometimes players are remembered  for "not so positive" moments in their career.  For me, Ralph Branca is one of those guys.  I'm sure that the 3x all-star was a part of many memorable moments.  Unfortunately I wasn't born yet and the one thing I associate him with is The Shot Heard 'Round the World.

1950 Bowman #94 Lou Boudreau

I knew that Boudreau was a solid player, because he's a hall of famer.  But I didn't realize that he was a player/manager for so many years.  I remember Pete Rose doing that in the mid 80's, but can't think of anyone else doing it since.

1950 Bowman #148 Early Wynn

Wynn was another easy choice for me.  The hall of famer had five 20 win seasons, 300 career wins, and won the Cy Young Award at 39 years of age.

1951 Bowman #6 Don Newcombe

I can't really pinpoint why I know Newcombe's name.  But his card stated that he was "one of the best pitchers in the business", which was good enough for me.  Justin Verlander and Newcombe are the only two pitchers in MLB history to win the ROY Award, a MVP Award, and a Cy Young Award during their careers.  In 1962, he crossed the Pacific Ocean and played in Japan.  Ironically, he only pitched in one game over there.  However he hit a respectable .262 with 12 home runs for the Chunichi Dragons.

1951 Bowman #58 Enos Slaughter

I remember when Slaughter was inducted into the hall of fame back in 1985.  Unfortunately, I also remember reading a story about him being a racist.  It looks like someone tried to punish him by taking an eraser to his face.

1952 Bowman #2 Bobby Thomson

Thomson had a solid 15 year career that included eight 20 home run seasons and three all-star appearances.  But he's most remembered for hitting one of the greatest home runs in MLB history (see Ralph Branca).

1952 Bowman #142 Early Wynn

Another Wynn.  Another vintage hall of famer for my binder.

1952 Bowman #162 Monte Irvin

Although he never played in San Francisco, Irvin's name is still big in these parts.  His MLB numbers are really good, but his Negro League statistics were better.  In 1973, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and as a current member of the Veterans Committee, he actively campaigns for deserving Negro League players.

There were a few other cards that I considered buying, but I only had $50 on me and spent $9 earlier in the morning.  Based on eBay completed sales, I did pretty well.  None of these are going to allow me to retire early, but I'm not complaining.  Worst case scenario, they inspired me to go back and read about all of these awesome players who entertained fans before I was even born.

Plus... I have nine amazing additions to my vintage baseball card binder.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Amazing pick ups - I love vintage Bowman cards. Congrats!

  2. I've featured both the Furillo and Newcombe on my blog before and I'm very proud to have both (and of course I've heard of them!)

    Very nice finds and good for that seller to not sell the whole binder at once. It drives me crazy when I seek out a seller who I know has some key cards in a binder and I'm told "oh this guy bought the whole thing."

  3. Jealous! At $4 a piece, I would've been all over those. Funny that you found a Branca and a Thomson in the same binder.

  4. Wow. That's a sweet pickup. I may have to stop spending 35 cents for cool junk wax cards and break the bank with some $4 purchases, if this is what they'd look like. Nice haul.

  5. Those cards are awesome! Great find!

  6. It just doesn't get much better than old Bowmans. And for that price....wow. Great pich-up, Fuji!!

  7. Unbelievable. $4 per for cards of that quality?!?!?!?! I have sh*tty flea markets compared to yours.

  8. Great finds! The cards look fantastic.

  9. Great pickups! Nice that you added the part about learning about the players as well.

  10. Wow! You scored on those cards. I would have loved to have seen what Yankees he might have had.