A Mint condition 1948 Bowman George Mikan rookie card, the only one ever to be professionally graded as a Gem Mint 10, will be part of Memory Lane’s Dec. 12 auction, starting with a minimum bid of $50,000. The card is the key to the earliest basketball-only set, a one-year offering that features the legendary Mikan as its centerpiece. Often described as the “T206 Honus Wagner of basketball cards,” the Mikan card was printed in Bowman’s more scarce second series.
Prior to this card, only four Mikan rookies have been graded a 9 in PSA’s population report. A PSA 9 Mikan rookie sold in 2008 for more than $52,000. The PSA Mikan card is expected to go for much more, as evidenced by the minimum bid.
The 1948 Bowman basketball set was the first Bowman sports card set produced in color and represents the last mainstream basketball card set until Topps first dipped its toe in the water in 1957-58. It is the only basketball set Bowman would produce before going out of the sports trading card business in 1955. While basketball players were occasionally featured on sports cards prior to the 1940s, the 1948 Bowman set was the first all-basketball card set ever created.