Saturday, April 6, 2019

A big one: 1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle

A few months ago I decided to start working on a 1955 Bowman set; I love the classic design which commemorates the television becoming a major factor in American life.  According to Wikipedia, "Half of all U.S. households had television sets by 1955, though color was a premium feature for many years."  One nice feature of the 1955 Bowman set, other than the classic design, is the small set size: only 320 cards, as compared to the giant 787-card 1972 Topps set I'm also working on.
1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle.
A downside, though, is that there are a few rather expensive cards, as would be expected with a set from the 1950s.  Looking through COMC, the Trading Card Database, and eBay, I determined that it seemed the most expensive card was Mickey Mantle, followed by Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Willie Mays.  Of course there are a number of other moderately expensive cards, including the popular umpire cards.  So as to not feel too daunted by these high-value cards, I decided to get the biggest one out of the way.  So this Mickey Mantle becomes my first good card of him, and becomes the third most expensive card I've ever bought, behind my 1954 Topps Jackie Robinson and my 1940 Play Ball Jimmie Foxx, both of which I've blogged about before.  The card has a crease all the way down, which I think you can see in the picture between him and his name, and some other smaller defects; despite that I'm really very happy with the condition, and it did make it more affordable.
Mickey Mantle card back.
The back has an uncorrected error, getting his birth date wrong.

I'm at 84 out of 320 of these 1955 Bowman; I find that many of them go for about $2, so it's easy to get a bunch of commons, and other than Mantle I've picked up a few of the moderately priced cards as well.  I'm hoping to finish my 1972 Topps set this year; I'm at 600 out of 787 on that, including about half of the high numbers.  When that's done this 1955 set will be my main focus for collecting.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I think an appropriate reaction to this card would be "HOLY COW!"

  2. High numbers (#225-320) are a little tough on this set--especially umpire cards.

  3. Dang, that is a big one! Congratulations! Trying to complete this set seems like it would be a very daunting task, I'm glad that it's you who's doing so, and not me :)