Several of the collectors who weren’t lucky enough to nab the Mickey Mantle card that came out of that 1955 Bowman cello pack break at the National Sports Collectors Convention came away with some pretty good consolation prizes.
All 20 cards from the break were submitted to PSA for grading and the results of the 19 grades known so far were revealed Tuesday night by Vintage Breaks, which sold spots in the random draw for $500. The result has impacted the set’s population report in a fairly significant way. Eight of the 19 cards were graded mint 9 including #100 Tom Morgan. Only one other Morgan card ever submitted to PSA had reached a nine and none have ever been rated 10. The value of what’s normally considered a common card in the set could be $5,000 or more to well-heeled collectors attempting to build the hobby’s best sets.
But that’s not all.
The break yielded a PSA 9 #99 Jerry Coleman (population 3), a PSA 9 #204 Frank Bolling variation (population 3); two PSA 9 #98 Jim Gilliam cards (population 5), a PSA 9 #247 Duane Pillette (pop 5) and two PSA 8.5 #203 Steve Gromek cards. Gromek is one of the toughest 1955 Bowman cards to find in high grade and those two 8.5s now represent the best on PSA’s entire pop report since no others have ever reached 9 or 10.
Maryland collector Chris Rothe, who was awarded the Mantle card, since graded 9, also bought a second spot in the break and pulled one of the two PSA 8.5 Gromek cards.
The rest of the grades included an 8.5 Coleman, four NM/MT 8s and four NM 7s. Unfortunately, the other Hall of Famer pulled from the pack didn’t fare as well. While it appeared high-grade to the naked eye, a slight surface issue dropped it to a 5–still worth around $150.
One collector took possession of his card at the National–the Rip Repulski that had been sitting on the top of the pack– submitted it on his own and is awaiting the result.
While it’s possible not every card pulled from the pack will reach the open market, it’s likely the value of all of the cards that were pulled is close to $100,000–perhaps more should some of the higher end cards with a lower population be sold at auction. Nearly half of those who took a gamble on the break received a card that is worth more than their $500 investment. So far, none of the collectors have committed to selling their cards, however.
Interestingly, the pack revealed an interesting collation. The pack contained four groups of sequential numbers including: 97,98,99 and 100; 123, 124 and 125; 202, 203 and 204; 242, 243, 244 and 245. There were four duplicates in the pack: #98 (Gilliam), #99 (Coleman), #125 (Bolling) and #203 (Gromek).
Collectors are getting a second shot at some high value mid-1950s cards. Vintage Breaks offered a seven card PSA 9 1954 Bowman wax pack break with single spots being offered Wednesday for $950. The spots sold out in 31 minutes. The pack will be broken during Vintage Breaks’ show at 9 PM Eastern time Thursday. You can watch it live on our Facebook page.