June 2017
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/16/2017
Go ahead, read the title again and shake your head in amazement, that's what we did. When we first heard about this unopened collection of 19 packs from the 1948 Bowman baseball series, along with the original display box, we scrambled to find some information online about previous sales or articles about pack collectors who had one of these in their collection. What we found was ... well, nothing. Other than a photo or two of a 1948 Bowman wrapper, there was no information on actual unopened packs. According to Steve Hart (BBCE), the foremost authority in unopened material, he had never previously heard of or seen one in his many years in the hobby, and is fairly certain that no other known examples exist. BBCE has authenticated the packs, grading them NM to NM/MT and has provided a Letter of Authenticity, referring to them as "absolutely marvelous" in telephone conversations. As stated in the preface, this box was originally acquired by a member of the family for research and development, and the consignor shared with us the contents of a 20th pack that was opened in 1948 and left with the cards and gum still inside the wrapper (not included in this auction). Each of the five cards were near perfectly centered and appeared to be MINT to GEM MINT, along with three large slabs of aged bubble gum that are the same dimensions as the cards, bringing the total thickness of each pack to about half an inch. Of course, that's no guarantee that the cards in the other packs are equally as pristine, but for a set known with centering issues, this really impressed us. OK, so how do you determine the value for something that is one of a kind and, until recently, not known to exist in a single item much less 19 of them? Perhaps the best basis for comparison is the recent auction of a 1948 Bowman basketball pack, which sold for $55,200, but there are many reasons to think a 1948 Bowman baseball pack is even better; 1) Far superior card selection. While the George Mikan RC in the '48 basketball series is the highest priced card of either set with a recent sale of a PSA 10 at just over $403,000, no other GEM MINT card in the basketball set comes close to what is possible with the baseball series, as PSA 10 examples of Stan Musial ($360,000) and Yogi Berra ($192,000) sold in the same auction, with the added potential of other Hall of Famers like Ralph Kiner, Johnny Mize, Bob Feller, Phil Rizzuto, Enos Slaughter, Warren Spahn and Red Schoendienst, several of which would be the first GEM MINT examples to hit the PSA population report. 2) Smaller set size. At just 48 cards compared to the 72-card basketball series, not only are there many more important Hall of Famers in the baseball series but the smaller set size allows for a higher frequency that one or more of those cards are in each pack. 3) The '48 Bowman baseball collection is one of the most iconic issues of the hobby, the first mainstream collection to be distributed after World War II and the pioneer of the modern age of baseball cards, though just 15 years the junior of the 1933 Goudey series. And unlike the basketball packs, the entire inventory of unopened 1948 Bowman baseball packs known to exist is right here. And then there's the original 1948 Bowman display box, well-worn and held together with tape but again, the only known example to exist, with the original display insert. Of course it's up to the bidding public to ultimately decide the value of these newly discovered gems. But if you're a collector with a flair for something unique, something the sports card community only hoped existed in theory, this is quite literally your once in a lifetime opportunity!
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $50,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $514,746.00
Number Bids:74
Competitive in-house shipping is not available for this lot.
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