Being involved in the hobby for more than 30 years gives one an immense appreciation of its true rarities – items that inspire a double-take due to rarity, complexity, or beauty. This complete, autographed 1955 Bowman football set boasts all three. Simply completing such a set is a collecting marvel that involves a great deal of patience and dedication: many of the players in the set are deceased, or simply did not sign many items. Further, the 1955 Bowman set is particularly beautiful and colorful, each card featuring a full-color image of the player and team logo, silhouetted against a bold and colorful background.
A complete 1955 Bowman football set is an incredible scarcity simply due to the presence of the rookie card of Hall of Fame defensive end Len Ford. Ford is considered one of the most rare autographs of all Pro Football Hall of Famers. The example included in this collection is an extremely well-centered, sharp example featuring the Hall of Famer’s signature boldly applied in ballpoint pen in the upper left corner of the card. It is simply a majestic example of one of the most difficult signatures in football autograph collection.
Beyond the Ford, however, the 1955 Bowman set includes many other key rookies and Hall of Famers, some of which are scarcities in their own right: Doak Walker (HOF), Mike McCormack (HOF RC), Frank Gifford (HOF), Alan Ameche (RC), Pete Pihos (HOF), Ford (HOF RC), Ollie Matson (HOF), Jack Christiansesn (HOF), Norm Van Brocklin (HOF), Dick Stanfel (RC), Lou Groza (HOF), John Henry Johnson (HOF RC), Tom Fears (HOF), Joe Perry (HOF), Pat Summerall (RC), Ed Brown (RC), George Blanda (HOF), Ben Agajanian (RC), Jim Ringo (HOF RC), Bobby Layne (HOF), Y.A. Tittle (HOF), Hugh McElhenny (HOF), Billy Wilson (RC), Les Richter (HOF), Rick Casares (RC), Bob St. Clair (HOF RC), Leo Nomellini (HOF), Lou Creekmur (HOF), Frank Gatski (HOF RC), Jim Finks (HOF), Andy Robustelli (HOF), Ernie Stautner (HOF), Emlen Tunnell (HOF), Charlie Trippi (HOF), Bob Toneff (RC), Tom Landry (HOF), Chuck Bednarik (HOF), and L.G. Dupre (RC). Card #120 of Finks, also a difficult autograph, is exceptional, with a dark, bold ballpoint signature.
What makes this collection that much more spectacular, however, is the incredible condition of most of the cards. Easily averaging EX to EX-MT, the majority of the cards included in this set have been extraordinarily well-preserved, particularly for autographed cards. Signed cards from the 1950s are often ravaged by time, creased and wrinkled, with significant corner wear. Even modern collectors seeking autographs on vintage cards often choose off-grade examples, so as to avoid “damaging” a higher-grade card with a signature.
In the case of this set, however, the cards are extraordinary – very little surface and corner wear, each signature applied in ink and each very high-quality in appearance, with the majority in the 6-8 range. This is a spectacular set, originally part of the MacAllister collection of autographs that was auctioned off some years ago. Thankfully this set – each of which’s 160 cards have been authenticated and encapsulated by PSA/DNA – was kept together by the original purchaser, who recognized the set’s uniqueness and the challenge involved in assembling such a collection card by card. We are thrilled to present the entire collection to you as one single 160-card set, meticulously assembled and preserved, an outstanding artifact from the golden age of American football.