Vintage Football Card of the Day -1932 Packers Walker’s Cleaners #19 Jim Bowdoin

Jim Bowdoin, born this day in 1904, played seven seasons in the NFL.  After his playing days at the University of Alabama, he played for the Green Bay Packers, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and Portsmouth Spartans.  To be honest, I couldn’t find much more on him that that.

I apologize for the small picture of this card, but there aren’t many copies of this set out there.  Per this piece from Gridiron Greats Magazine, seven complete sets are known, one set missing just one card and only a few singles.

1932 Packers Walker’s Cleaners #19 Jim Bowdoin

One complete 27-card set was sold on Heritage Auctions for $15k in 2014.  The complete auction description was as follows: “1932 Walker’s Cleaners Green Bay Packers Premium Photographs Complete Set with Binder (27). It’s one of the most coveted relics of the leatherhead era, and for those collectors with a Titletown fixation specifically. The National Football League was still on wobbly legs just over a decade into its existence, hobbled by the Great Depression and the fading prospects for long-since forgotten franchises like the Staten Island Stapletons and the Providence Steam Rollers, when a local Green Bay dry cleaner created this special premium in celebration of the Packers’ third consecutive Championship season. While the original print run remains a point of debate, it is believed that fewer than than two dozen complete sets survive to tempt the modern hobby. We have no doubt that this is one of the finest of that small supply.

The full contingent of twenty-seven entries is present, each 8×10″ photographic image on card stock that exhibits light wear and slight creasing at left edges. The 4×5.5″ biographical sheet issued with the player photo, most typically absent in the modern collecting hobby, appears with each and every entry here. The album’s exceedingly rare olive colored “title page,” where the original owner was meant to write his name, appears as well, unmarked, and the original brown binder that houses it all exhibits moderate wear throughout.

The roster: E.L. “Curly” Lambeau, Frank Baker, Russ Sanders, Wuert Englemann, Hank Bruder, Waldo Don Carlos, Roger Grove, Mike Michalske, Milton Gantenbein, LaVerne Dilweg, Verne Lewellen, Red Dunn, Johnny Blood McNally, Jug Earp, Arnie Herber, Dick Stahlman, Red Sleight, Rudy Comstock, Jim Bowdoin, Hurdis McCrary, Bo Molenda, Cal Hubbard, Paul Fitzgibbon, Tom Nash, Mule Wilson, Whitey Woodin and Nate Barragar.

While the Green Bay Packers enjoy the status of the hobby’s most dedicated collecting base of the football subgenre, this is an offering that might be even more relevant to those with a concentration in trading cards, as it could be considered the first dedicated issue in the history of the National Football League. Overall condition rates a solid EX-MT+.”

Last spring, another set sold on BST Auctions for $3,600.  On the auction page, there is also a YouTube video for a look at the lot.

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