1948 Bowman Baseball is incredibly important for card collectors.
It was the first ever Bowman release focusing on the sport, while it features a number of key rookie cards from the era, including the likes of Yogi Berra and Stan Musial.
Here’s everything you need to know about the best 1948 Bowman Baseball cards, in a famous collection released just after WWII.
The Best 1948 Bowman Baseball Cards
- There were only 48 cards contained in 1948 Bowman Baseball, and a full checklist can be found below
- The cards are smaller than modern options, using simple black and white images
- These include action shots and profile images
- Some of the cards are SSP
- The reverse includes an ad for Blony Bubble Gum
We’ve listed five of the best cards found in the 1948 Bowman Baseball collection below.
5. 1948 Bowman Baseball Bob Feller RC #5 (eBay)
Bob Feller played 18 seasons for the Cleveland Indians between 1936 and 1956, and is widely seen as the best pitcher from the era. Feller was later elected the inaugural president of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association upon his retirement.
His rookie card features a simple action shot, with his team (Cleveland) clearly visible on his jersey. It’s considered to be an RC despite earlier Goudey cards from the 1930’s as they had a smaller availability nationally compared to the Bowman sets.
4. 1948 Bowman Baseball Warren Spahn RC #18 (eBay)
The winningest southpaw pitcher in big league history, Warren Spahn was victorious in 363 games over a career that included 13 20-win seasons.
(An early card that predates his 1948 Bowman and Leaf rookie cards is found in the 1947 Tip Top Bread set.)
As for the 1948 Bowman Baseball release, Spahn is found in a side-on profile shot, which actually makes sense as he was known as ‘The Hook’ due to the size of his nose.
The Spahn card is one of the keys to the set, and one of the most valuable options overall when looking at graded copies.
3. 1948 Bowman Baseball Ralph Kiner RC #3 (eBay)
Ralph Kiner made his major league debut in 1946 at age 23, having lost three years to World War II. He wasted no time in making his presence felt as he led the National League in home runs and established a new franchise record in the process.
As with many players from the era, Kiner can also be found on a number of cards released before 1948. (A pair of rookies were produced by competing bread companies in 1947 that can be a real challenge for collectors to find.)
The flagship Bowman RC features him in a simple batting pose.
2. 1948 Bowman Baseball Yogi Berra RC #6 (eBay)
We’ve looked at the top Yogi Berra RCs in the past, including an option from 1947.
Berra (1925-2015) was a World War II Navy gunner who served at D-Day, going on to become a record-holding athlete in the major leagues.
He played 19 seasons in MLB, as an 18-time All-Star who won 10 World Series championships as a player—more than any other player in MLB history. (He also won three as a coach, with both the Mets and his beloved New York Yankees.)
His 1948 RC is often preferred to the ‘47 Sports Exchange card due to its historical importance, and the continued success of Bowman Baseball in the here and now. It’s also especially rare at higher grades, with 10 PSA 9s and a single gem mint copy.
1. 1948 Bowman Baseball Stan Musial RC #36 (eBay)
Stan ‘The Man’ Musial takes the top spot on this list, as the all-time National League leader in runs, hits, doubles, and RBIs when he retired, and a multiple World Series winner with the Cardinals.
The Hall of Famer has an RC found in the 1948 Bowman set, featuring a simple black-and-white profile shot. Once again, this card is often prefered to the earlier 1947 Homogenized Bond Bread Stan Musial release, mostly due to brand recognition.
Musial refused to be featured on Topps cards until 1958, so there aren’t as many vintage cards featuring the player.
1948 Bowman Baseball Cards: Checklist
Here’s a complete checklist for 1948 Bowman Baseball:
- 1 Bob Elliott RC
- 2 Ewell Blackwell RC
- 3 Ralph Kiner RC
- 4 Johnny Mize
- 5 Bob Feller
- 6 Yogi Berra RC
- 7 Pete Reiser SP
- 8 Phil Rizzuto RC SP
- 9 Walker Cooper
- 10 Buddy Rosar
- 11 Johnny Lindell
- 12 Johnny Sain RC
- 13 Willard Marshall SP
- 14 Allie Reynolds RC
- 15 Eddie Joost
- 16 Jack Lohrke SP
- 17 Enos Slaughter
- 18 Warren Spahn RC
- 19 Tommy Henrich
- 20 Buddy Kerr SP
- 21 Ferris Fain RC
- 22 Floyd Bevens RC SP
- 23 Larry Jansen RC
- 24 Dutch Leonard SP
- 25 Barney McCosky
- 26 Frank Shea RC SP
- 27 Sid Gordon
- 28 Emil Verban SP
- 29 Joe Page RC SP
- 30 Whitey Lockman RC SP
- 31 Bill McCahan
- 32 Bill Rigney
- 33 Bill Johnson
- 34 Sheldon Jones SP
- 35 Snuffy Stirnweiss RC
- 36 Stan Musial RC
- 37 Clint Hartung RC
- 38 Red Schoendienst RC
- 39 Augie Galan
- 40 Marty Marion RC
- 41 Rex Barney RC
- 42 Ray Poat
- 43 Bruce Edwards
- 44 Johnny Wyrostek
- 45 Hank Sauer RC
- 46 Herman Wehmeier
- 47 Bobby Thomson RC
- 48 Dave Koslo RC
1948 Bowman Baseball Cards: Buyers Guide
The 1948 Bowman Baseball set was important for the hobby, and it’s one that helped to pave the way for modern releases. Here are our thoughts on the current state of the market.
It’s tough to find cheap cards from 1948, unless you’re looking at the many reprints that are available online. Be wary of any deal which seems like it’s too good to be true, while we’d advise to stick to graded copies if possible.
Either Stan Musial or Yogi Berra would be our top picks for the best 1948 Bowman Baseball investment card overall. They’re still relatively well known within the sport, as well as among card collectors.
Over 70 years after their original release, the 1948 Bowman Baseball set still has a strong reputation within the hobby. It’s easy to see why.
One issue is the competing 1948-49 Leaf collection, given their colorized cards are certainly more eye-catching. It’s never a bad thing to have options to choose from.
Regardless, 1948 Bowman Baseball has a lot of historical importance, a juiced rookie class, and is one of the more popular vintage sets to collect thanks to the shorter checklist.