An "Eye Popping" Pull from 1955 Bowman at The National

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  • August 13, 2018

63 years ago Bowman inserted cards of the talented, young Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle into one of their cellophane packs at their Philadelphia facility. At the start of the 1955 season Mantle had already become one of the most popular stars in the game having won three World Series championships and was named to three American League All Star teams. Collectors young and old alike tore open packs of 1955 Bowman Baseball in a frenzy during the height of baseball golden age, but one pack remained tantalizingly unopened and hidden from UV light for more than six decades.


Until the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland.

When we purchased the cello pack of 1955 Bowman baseball at the 2017 National we knew we were dealing with something special. Unopened packs from 1950s are becoming increasingly rare, with many remaining locked away in private collections. That's why we knew we had to bring this PSA 7 graded pack of 1955 Bowman to our customers at Vintage Breaks.

The temptation to open the pack was there from the beginning, but we knew if we decided to wait a year for the 2018 National. Breaking a pack of this vintage is exceedingly rare and each time it occurs it could very well be the last time, which made us want to do it on the grandest stage possible.

Each of the 20 spots we sold in the break was sure to deliver each of our customers a treasure straight out of a time capsule. Even high grade commons from a set of this age are worth getting excited about due to the propensity of the card's trademark brown borders mimicking television sets to chip and show wear. When we pulled an Ernie Banks early in the break we had already achieved a special moment in front of the gathering crowd and those watching online.

As each of the 20 cards was pulled and carefully placed in protection for grading the excitement began to build. We truly felt as if we were part of a once in a lifetime collecting experience. As we got through 15, 16, 17 and so on the excitement began to build to a crescendo as only a couple of cards remained.

And then it happened.

The nineteenth card revealed the smiling visage of card #202 - Mickey Mantle - in the prime of his life and career. There was an explosion of excitement in the crowd as we instantly knew we made history not just for us at Vintage Breaks, but for the entire hobby. The live event had everyone amped up to the point where we were shaking. This passion and excitement is what we want to bring to collectors. It is why we founded Vintage Breaks.

You see Mike and I do this goofy high 5 before I even know what is going on. Mike then correctly advises everyone to pull out their phones to record history. 5 seconds later and the stage erupts with joy and my deafening shout goes through the convention center like some sort of scream metal band as my eyes pop out of my head like a cartoon character. Here I'll let the video do the talking.



This story has captured the attention of the media not just within the collecting world, but also national media such as ESPN. The aftermath has been made all that much sweeter with the incrediable response from the collecting community. We are passionate about this hobby and we love that you are too. Pulling what has been the best card ever hit in any group break of any kind is an experience I will never forget.

If you would like to be part of the excitement and open history please sign up for our next exciting break at

Want to read more about this incredible pull? Here is what other media outlets have written about it.

Bleacher Report

Darren Rovell of ESPN


Sports Collectors Daily


Anxious collector Chris Rothe gets the card in hand for the first time.

It's really stunning in it's PSA 9 holder.

Chris is a veteran vintage collector who owns a premium stationary company in the Baltimore area.  Check him out at the Write Pads website.


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