You may think they look quaint, maybe even dorky, now, but how would you have designed 1955 Bowman baseball cards, Skippy?

I mean, imagine you’re Mr. Bowman Designer and you’re coming off an effort that included big player images with little pieces of sticky tape at the card bottoms with facsimile autographs.

And that Topps had kicked but with their painted, big-head-little-action-figurine design in 1954.

You’d want something snazzy, right? Something cool? Hip? Contemporary? Modern?

Something to make the kids say, “Man these Mr. Bowman Dudes dudes know what they’re doing!”?

Right.

1955 Bowman Wax Pack

So you’d take your little player photos and wrap them in the most 1950s-y rendition of a wooden-cabinet color TV you could come up with, and you’d call it soup.

Domination would be yours.

And then … not so much.

But at least you would have built a memorable last set. And that’s just what Bowman did.

And even now, 70 years or so later, these things are still plenty desirable, even if it’s for the sake of curiosity, and because those TV cabinets flake and make it a real challenge to find sharp cards.

With all that in mind, here are the 12 most valuable 1955 Bowman baseball cards, based on PSA 7 listings in the PSA Sports Market Report Price Guide.

Let’s tune in to the action right now …

1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle (#202)

1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle

If were looking for a Mickey Mantle baseball card in 1955, you could either buy some packs of Bowman or … well, or nothing, really.

Bowman was pretty much the only game in town when it came to The Mick since Topps whiffed on the young slugger.

Little wonder, then, that this is a $1500 card in PSA 7.

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1955 Bowman Hank Aaron (#179)

1955 Bowman Hank Aaron

Sandwiched between two dudes most fans thought might have a chance to take out Babe Ruth‘s all-time record sits the dude who actually did it.

In 1955, Hank Aaron had just one season and 13 home runs under his belt, though he did have two mainstream cards that summer.

It’s hard to beat the colorful Topps issue, but this second-year Hammer card checks in at around $450 in PSA 7.

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1955 Bowman Willie Mays (#184)

1955 Bowman Willie Mays

Mays may have been the most talented player of the three at the top of our list … heck, he may have been the most talented player of all time.

And the real heck of it is that he pretty much lived up to the promise of all that talent.

As is the case with Aaron, Mays’ 1955 Topps card is drop-dead gorgeous, while his Bowman issue just sort of … is.

Still, it’s another $450 card in graded NM condition.

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1955 Bowman Ernie Banks (#242)

1955 Bowman Ernie Banks

Like Aaron, Banks made his Bowman debut in 1955, as Topps’ rival dropped the ball on the two young sluggers in 1954.

Mr. Cub looks fine enough in his television set rendering, though the lack of Cubs branding significantly diminishes the visual impact of this card.

Not significantly enough, though, to hold it below $450 in PSA 7 condition.

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1955 Bowman Yogi Berra (#168)

1955 Bowman Yogi Berra

There is a steep dropoff in present-day value from the big four sluggers listed above to the more middling slugger in this slot.

But Berra was more than just a power hitter — he hit for average, drove in runs, handled a championship pitching staff, excelled in the World Series, and was, in many ways, the heart and soul of the 1950s Yankees dynasty.

And, in 1955, he would nab his third American League MVP award and second in a row.

For all that, the TV-bound Hall of Fame receiver typically fetches around $150 in PSA 7.

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1955 Bowman Roy Campanella (#22)

1955 Bowman Roy Campanella

Most of what I said about Berra applies to Campanella, too, except he won his three National League MVP awards in 1951, 1953, and 1955.

Oh, and he played for the “wait-’til-next-year” Brooklyn Dodgers.

But that included the 1955 team, the one who finally made it to next year and won a World Series.

That gives this card a bit of extra swagger — especially since Campy is absent from the Topps set — and bumps it to about $125 in PSA 7 condition.

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1955 Bowman Whitey Ford (#59)

1955 Bowman Whitey Ford

Like Campanella and Mantle, Ford was nowhere to be found in the 1955 Topps set, so collectors had to run to Bowman to find the Yanks’ ace.

Though Ford won “only” 236 games in his career, all of the World Series sheen and Yankees mystique were enough to pave a relatively easy path to Cooperstown.

In PSA 7, this is another $125 card.

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1955 Bowman Al Kaline (#23)

1955 Bowman Al Kaline

Kaline shares a distinction with Aaron and Banks — while Mr. Tiger’s rookie card appeared in the 1954 Topps set, this 1955 piece is his first-ever Bowman card.

It’s a good-looking hunk of cardboard, but probably still falls short of his splashy Topps issue in terms of overall appeal.

It remains a staple of the last-ever Bowman (original) set, though, and hammers down for about $115 in PSA 7.

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1955 Bowman Al Barlick (#265)

1955 Bowman Al Barlick UMP

Now we come to a run of cards that hardly any other set — ever — could match … the umpires!

Al Barlick is a Hall of Fame ump who plied his trade in the National League from 1940 through 1971. He missed multi-year stints for Coast Guard service and, later, to deal with a heart problem.

Barlick was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989.

This “rookie card” is a $100+ buy in slabbed NM condition.

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1955 Bowman Nestor Chylak (#283)

1955 Bowman Nestor Chylak UMP

Another Hall of Famer, Chylak umped in the American League from 1954 through 1978, working in several All-Star Games, ALCS, and World Series along the way.

He passed away in 1982 and made the Cooperstown cut in 1999.

Another $110 card in PSA 7.

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1955 Bowman Jocko Conlan (#303)

1955 Bowman Jocko Conlan UMP

Conlan is probably the biggest “name” among our three 1955 Bowman umps, and he handled National Games from 1941 through 1965.

That after a brief run as a Chicago White Sox outfielder, to boot.

It was his work as an umpire, though, that brought Conlan success and fame — he was elected to Cooperstown in 1974.

Like his brethren above, Conlan checks in at $110 here.

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1955 Bowman Hoyt Wilhelm (#1)

1955 Bowman Hoyt Wilhelm

Hoyt Wilhelm made more appearances on a Major League mound than all New York Yankees pitchers combined between 1920 and 1990.

OK, that’s a lie.

But he did pitch until he was 75 years old.

No? You don’t believe that either?

Fine.

Wilhelm started MLB life as a reliever, did some rotation work there in the middle, then went back to the bullpen.

And, after 1070 appearances (for real), he’d done enough to get the call to the Hall in 1985.

Oh, he also scored the first card in the 1955 Bowman set, which makes it both his only ’55 card and hard to come by in any sort of decent condition.

So, in PSA 7, expect to pay about $100.

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