I've been adding vintage Bowman cards to my collection. With 1955 completed, I turned my attention to Bowman's first release from 1948. I figured this would be an important set to add, since it was one of the first national baseball card releases after World War II.
The first Bowman set had fairly small cards, measuring 2 1/16" x 2 1/2". The front of the card featured a black and white picture of the player. A short bio was written on the back.
Now enjoy a look at all of the 1948 Bowman Cubs:
No, I didn't forget to post the pictures.......there were no Cubs included in the set! It was a small set, only 48 cards. Apparently Bowman didn't consider the Cubs card-worthy. But the Cubs weren't the only team left out. Six of the sixteen teams were excluded. The set had no Cubs, White Sox (no Chicago love at all from the folks at Bowman!), Tigers, Red Sox, Senators, and Browns.
It's strange for a set that would be nationally released to omit so many teams. Plus, the set was also very National League-heavy. The Cubs were the only NL team missing. The only AL teams in the set were the Yankees, A's, and one Indian (Bob Feller). By count, a mere 16 of the 48 cards (33%) were American League players.
But it gets even worse (unless you are from New York). There were three Dodgers, fourteen Giants, and ten Yankees. That makes 27 players from New York, and 21 players from seven other team. That's more of a New York bias than what we see on ESPN today!
Since Bowman didn't see fit to have any Cubs in the set, I took it upon myself to create one. Here is the front and the back of the team's star, outfielder Phil Cavarretta.