Extraordinary 1948 Bowman Gum Basketball 5-Cent Wax Pack w/5 Cards (GAI Mint 9) – Possibly Includes the George Mikan #69 Rookie Card - The "Holy Grail" of Vintage Basketball Cards!
The 1948 Bowman 72-subject basketball set irrefutably stands as the landmark "hoops" compilation, issued long before the likes of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson Lew Alcindor, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James (just to mention a few of pro-basketball's iconic stars) stepped foot on an NBA court. As virtually every cardboard enthusiast is aware of, this highly coveted gathering just happens to include the iconic George Mikan '48 ROOKIE CARD that paves the way for the remaining 7 Hall of Fame subjects, and synonymous with the T206 Honus Wagner baseball card, resides as basketball's undisputed vintage cardboard "Holy Grail".
Due to a world at war, sports cards had taken a "back-seat" during the early to mid-1940's, and while some rogue regional sets were distributed in 1946 and 1947, it wasn't until 1948 that the Bowman and Leaf Gum companies elected to step into the limelight by issuing a number of mainstream baseball, football and basketball card sets. Unlike the somewhat "dull" looking 1948 black & white baseball card peers, the '48 Bowman basketball issue (measuring approximately 2-1/16" x 2-1/2") included imposing black & white tinted images affixed to a red or blue background, with the verso's likewise reflecting brief player bio's and vital statistics. After counting their scattered pennies at home, enthralled young boys flocked their local candy stores to hopefully purchase at least one nickel pack that ironically included 5 basketball cards. We can only imagine the enthusiasm of an impressionable fan tearing open a wax pack with the hopes of capturing either one of their hometown hardwood court heroes or the majestic George Mikan rookie card who undoubtedly resided as the "Babe Ruth of Basketball" during that glorious by-gone era.
With that said, let's turn back the clock some 73 years and provide you with an Albert Einstein "time passage" moment by presenting this absolutely extraordinary and rare 1948 Bowman Gum Basketball unopened pack that has been graded a pinnacle Global Authentication Inc. (GAI) "Mint 9"! Miraculous as it may seem, this pack has somehow survived nearly three-quarters of a century without ever being opened, with its 5 factory issued cards and bubble gum safely secured within the confines of the super sealed wax wrapper. Its immense value is substantiated by a previous sale some 4 years ago for another 1948 Bowman basketball wax pack that fetched $55K. Interestingly enough, that prior sale was for a NM/MT 8 pack that actually had two corner tears, obviously a far inferior example versus this ultra-superior "MINT 9" wax memento. Additionally, it is no secret that the sports collecting market has exponentially exploded over the past 4 years, with staggering pricing points continuing to escalate with the force of a raging tsunami. While we would certainly not expect its extremely fortunate new owner to open this timeless heirloom, conceptionally speaking, the sheer notion that anyone could possibly still be awarded an opportunity to return to their childhood days and open a vintage sports card pack is beyond any incredible fantasy.
Add the fact that the actual rookie card for the Minneapolis Lakers Hall of Fame forward George Mikan may be safely tucked away in this 5-cent wax pack marvel simply boggles the mind. Aside from Mikan, other possible high-end subjects include the seven remaining Hall of Famers (Holzman, Phillip, Davies, Fulks, Jeanette, Risen and Polland) as well as highly coveted "notables" such as Braun, Zaslofsky, Palmer, Halbert, McKinney, Simmons and the #1 subject Calverley. An additional key collecting favorite from the '48 Bowman set are the dozen "Play Diagram" cards, with "high numbers" (checklist#'s 37-72; including the legendary #69 Mikan) unquestionably scarcer than the more common "low numbered" subjects. As a side note, considering this is the hobby's "debut" basketball compilation, technically speaking, all 72-subjects represent true rookie cards, and one look at the remarkable aesthetics of this GAI encapsulated wax pack substantiates the hallowed "Mint 9" assessment.
Indeed, the wax wrappers bold blue "BASKET BALL BUBBLE GUM" and red hued "5 PICTURE CARDS INSIDE" captions (as well as the fancy "basketball about to go through a hoop" image) have somehow retained virtually all of the awe-inspiring aesthetics from their original factory release date some 73 years ago. Impeccable to say the least, the verso's seals are completely intact and the significant GAI label depicts the following pertinent information: "AUTHENTIC – UNOPENED; 1948 Bowman Baskball; WAX PACK 5 CENT; MINT 9". One of the most valuable and desirable wax packs extant, this revered keepsake now presents itself for the taking, with its "Mint 9" assessment, spectacular eye appeal, and possible George Mikan included subject all combining to justify its world-class stature and lucrative worth!
(*) It should be noted that Steve Hart, the hobby's foremost authenticator of unopened wax (packs & boxes), has extensively reviewed this '48 Bowman Basketball wax pack and confirmed its un-opened status.
MIN BID $10,000