Thursday, July 7, 2011

1952 Bowman on the Cheap

For today's trip down vintage Bowman lane, we're visiting 1952. I dug both of these cards up at my LCS, which more properly stands for local comic store, or better yet, local magic card store. I pointed the store out to one of my friends once--a guy whose spent a fair amount of time playing Magic and WOW--and he said, "I bet there's a lot of neck beards in there." Oh, yes. Neck beards galore as they gather over their Mountain Dews to play Warhammer in the back of the room. Don't get me wrong. I'm not picking on the neck bearders. I'm a grown man drooling over boxes of vintage. Sometimes I ask to see the box of 1953 Bowman just to gaze at the sweet Pee Wee Reese card. And if it wasn't for the neck bearders, few local card stores would even still be able to exist.

Anyway, back to the cards. Here's the first one:

Virgil Stallcup didn't have much of a career, with only 7 inglorious seasons in the majors. But it's not the player that makes these cards, at least not for me. I love the '52 design, which I believe the '07 Bowman Heritage set is modeled after.  I find the stands to be the most interesting thing here. We get a little bit of the crowd in full color, but even better is the black silhouette in the background of the higher seats. There's something ominous about those shadowed spectators, and the black struts and girders give the card an industrial feel.

Here's the next piece of 1952:

When I pick these cards up, the main criterion is price, because I'm cheap. Both of these were $1.50 a piece, and I always know I'm not snagging any hall of famers with that sad budget. And part of the joy in picking up these cards is finding out about an obscure player from the '50s. Jim Delsing had a modest career with 10 seasons of nothing too special. What I didn't realize, however, was that Delsing played 5 seasons with the Tigers. That makes this card better.

Once again, the 1952 design is so great with the cloud background and the halide lights in the bottom corner (were they using halides in 1952?). The thick black outlines around Delsing really stand out on this card, which was another feature of the '52 design. The manu-autograph is well-placed across the jersey. And that's another thing I love about this design: that the signatures aren't all in one place, but wherever they look best. I almost wonder if the players actually decided where the signatures would go.


  1. A buck fifty each?!?! Some guys have all the luck.
    The cards look to be in really nice shape. Sure the corners are soft, but the colors are still crisp and vivid. Nicely done.

  2. At that price I'd buy everything they had! Well, I'd want too! Great pickups.