On the heels of an uninspiring debut effort, 1949 Bowman baseball cards stepped up their game to a significant degree.

Gone were the black-and-white polaroid images, replaced with color-tinted photos and bold, bright single-color backgrounds.

The checklist expanded, too, from 48 cards in 1948 all the way to 240 in 1949.

The set is fairly loaded with rookie cards, too, which has made it a popular issue over the years.

All of that is represented well in this list of the 12 most valuable 1949 Bowman baseball cards (rankings based on PSA 7 values culled from the PSA Sports Market Report Price Guide).

1949 Bowman Jackie Robinson (#50)

1949 Bowman Jackie Robinson

After breaking baseball’s color barrier and winning Rookie of the Year in 1947, Robinson scored his first nationally distributed card in the 1948 Leaf set.

That rookie card has become an iconic piece of hobby history and leaves this first Bowman card a few miles in the rearview.

Still, if you wanted a Jackie card during his only MVP season (1949), this was the sole widely available option.

Today, the ’49 Bowman Robinson is about a $3700 card in PSA 7 condition.

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1949 Bowman Satchel Paige (#224)

1949 Bowman Satchel Paige

Paige’s debut for the Cleveland Indians in 1948 after decades starring in the Negro Leagues was big news, and Leaf capitalized on that by issuing his rookie card in their inaugural set.

Bowman made sure to include Paige in their 1949 set, too, and it holds the distinction of being the last major card to feature Paige with the Tribe.

When Satchel came back to the Majors in 1951 after missing 1950, it was with the St. Louis Browns.

Today, Paige’s Bowman debut is a $3500 card in PSA 7.

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1949 Bowman Duke Snider Rookie Card (#226)

1949 Bowman Duke Snider

There is no doubt about which of Snider’s cards is his rookie … after debuting with an uninspiring 40-game run in 1947, Duke whiffed on the RC front in 1948.

Another 53 games with the 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers, though, netted Snider this 1949 Bowman card the same summer he started to look like a star.

Of course, he would go on to battle with Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle for supremacy among New York centerfielders, and he also made it all the way to the Hall of Fame.

Today, the 1949 Bowman Snider rookie card will set you back around $1500 in graded NM condition.

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1949 Bowman Roy Campanella Rookie Card (#84)

1949 Bowman Roy Campanella

Like Paige and Robinson, Campanella started his professional career in the Negro Leagues before coming over to the Major Leagues.

In Campy’s case, he joined Jackie with the Dodgers in 1948 and served notice that he might be a force in the coming years, swatting nine home runs and driving in 45 over 83 games.

Of course, Campanella would go on to forge a Cooperstown career that included three NL MVP awards (1951, 1953, 1955) and helped the Dodgers win their first championship in 1955.

His Bowman rookie card is an $800 item in PSA condition.

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1949 Bowman Richie Ashburn Rookie Card (#214)

1949 Bowman Richie Ashburn

In 1948, Richie Ashburn stepped into the centerfield slot for the Philadelphia Phillies and hit .333 across 117 games, and he also led the NL with 32 stolen bases.

Turns out, there wasn’t much flukish there, as Ashburn showed himself to be a consistent .300+ hitter, and he collected nearly 2600 hits over a 15-year Hall of Fame career.

Ashburn’s rookie card sells in the neighborhood of $750 today.

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1949 Bowman Stan Musial (#24)

1949 Bowman Stan Musial

In 1949, Musial was coming off his third MVP season for the St. Louis Cardinals and was generally accepted as the best player in the National League, and probably the entire game.

He wouldn’t slow down for a long while, either, as four NL batting titles, a slew of top-five MVP finishes, and an easy slide into the Hall of Fame all lay ahead.

Musial’s 1949 Bowman card brings over $500 in PSA 7 these days.

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1949 Bowman Larry Doby (#233)

1949 Bowman Larry Doby

Doby became the first black player in the American League during the summer of 1947, just months after Robinson broke in with the Dodgers.

His initial showing was abbreviated and a little rough, but Doby established himself as a star in the making in 1948 with 14 home runs, 66 RBI, and 83 runs scored.

In 1949, he took over regular centerfield duties and reeled off a string of All-Star appearances that stretched through the middle 1950s.

Doby finished his 13-year career with a .283 batting average, 253 home runs, 970 RBI … and a 1949 Bowman card that sells for $450 in PSA 7 condition.

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1949 Bowman Yogi Berra (#60)

1949 Bowman Yogi Berra

Like Musial, Yogi had made his Bowman debut in 1948.

That summer, Berra staked his claim to the Yankees’ starting catcher job, appearing in 71 games behind the plate and batting .305.

By the time this 1949 Bowman was issued, Berra was the undisputed backstop, a move that helped set in motion the 1950s New York dynasty.

This is a $375 card in PSA 7 today.

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1949 Bowman Bob Lemon Rookie Card (#238)

1949 Bowman Bob Lemon

After three years in the military and another two carving his spot in the Indians’ rotation, Lemon broke through with a 20-14 season in 1948.

It was the beginning of a run that would see him win 20 in seven of nine seasons and eventually lead him to the Hall of Fame.

Lemon’s rookie card is a $375 item in graded NM condition.

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1949 Bowman Robin Roberts Rookie Card (#46)

1949 Bowman Robin Roberts

Roberts went 7-9 for a 66-88 Phillies team as a rookie in 1948, but his 3.19 ERA hinted at better days ahead.

Indeed, Roberts would go on to win 20 games six years in a row during his 14-year Phillies career.

In all, Roberts went 286-245 over 19 seasons in the Bigs and made the Hall of Fame cut in 1976.

This Bowman RC pushes $300 in PSA 7 today.

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1949 Bowman Gil Hodges Rookie Card (#100)

1949 Bowman Gil Hodges

Hodges broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers with a one-game flash at age 19 in 1943.

Four years later, after time in the military and some minor league seasoning, Gil was back for another 28-game cup of coffee.

Then, in 1948, he was with Da Bums to stay, and he developed into one of the most feared power hitters of the 1950s and a key member of the great Dodgers teams of the era.

After he hung up his spikes as a player, Hodges moved into the dugout full-time and led the 1969 Amazin’ Mets to a World Series title.

He also gets credit in some circles for helping develop the modern bullpen.

Whether that’s true or not, Hodges’ 1949 Bowman RC is a $250+ buy in PSA 7.

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1949 Bowman Warren Spahn (#33)

1949 Bowman Warren Spahn

Spahn slipped from 21 wins and a 2.33 ERA in 1947 to just 15 victories and a bloated 3.71 ERA in 1948.

But the lefty was really just getting started with the Boston Braves and would soon emerge as one of the greatest starters of all-time.

Today, Spahn’s 1949 Bowman brings about $200 in slabbed NM condition.

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1949 Bowman Baseball Card Lot 8 Different

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1949 Bowman Jack Lohrke #59 PSA 4

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1949 BOWMAN BASEBALL #14 CURT SIMMONS PHILLIES EXNM

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1949 Bowman #8 Murray Dickson Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Card

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1949 Bowman Baseball 6-Card Lot - Yankees/Giants/Braves

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