Friday, October 6, 2017

Recent Acquisition: 1955 Bowman Don Newcombe

Here's part of a couple of pages of the Beckett that was the subject of a previous post:
1955 Bowman prices in the September, 1987 Beckett.
The part of the price guide talking about cards from the 50s held a certain fascination for me but was really only of academic interest.  Just looking at the picture of one card per set in the price guide was interesting, seeing these relics of another time.  I don't remember my local card shop having many cards from the 50s, but I would see some displays of them at shows sometimes.  The 1955 Bowmans were especially easy to spot because of the "Color TV" motif, designed like an old console TV.  We had a console TV like that, but not quite so old, when I was growing up.  I never thought I would buy any of these -- the Hall of Famers were way too expensive, and I hadn't heard of most or all of the other players.  I did end up with two 1954 Bowman cards in my collection, though; both are Phillies, Stan Lopata and Granny Hamner.  I know why I got the Hamner -- to get it autographed when he appeared at a show.  Not sure how, when, or why I got the Lopata. 
1955 Bowman Don Newcombe.
With my latest acquisition, I now own a third Bowman card from the 1950s, and I am very happy that it's from the classic "Color TV" 1955 set.  In line with my collection goal to get cards of some of Major League Baseball's early black players, I just bought this 1955 Bowman Don Newcombe, graded PSA 5.  This joins a 1954 Topps Jackie Robinson graded PSA 4 that I bought a couple of months ago and blogged about in one of my first posts.  Judging by the price guide above, which puts Newcombe at between $2.50 and $3.50, I could have afforded this card in 1987, but it's unlikely that I would have come across it easily (the internet has mostly eliminated the idea of searching for a dealer who has something in stock), and there's no reason I would have singled this card out of all the 1950s cards that were affordable back then.
My only previous Newcombe card, from Swell.
According to wikipedia, Don Newcombe became the 9th black player in Major League Baseball when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers on May 20, 1949.  In his first three years, he made the NL All-Star team and was the 1949 NL Rookie of the Year.  Newcombe had a number of firsts for MLB, including being the first black pitcher to start a World Series game and the first black pitcher to win 20 games in a season.  Like many players of the era, his time in Major League Baseball was put on hold while he served in the military, in the Korean War.  After his service, he had a lackluster year in 1954, but then went 20-5 in Brooklyn's World Series-winning year of 1955.  In 1956, he won the NL MVP and the first-ever Cy Young award.  Newcombe stayed in the majors through 1960, finishing with a record of 149-90, a 3.56 ERA, and 1129 strikeouts. 

I'm very happy to have this card from an iconic set of a historic pitcher who was outstanding in his prime. 

No comments:

Post a Comment