1951 Berk Ross Basketball Cards

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Front

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Back

Fast Facts

Year(s) Issued: 1951
Number Cards: 72 (only 5 basketball player cards)
Card Size: 2-1/16" x 2-1/2"
Common Card Value (Good Condition): $40
Scarcity Rating: (1 to 10, 10 scarcest):  4

Full 1951 Berk Ross Basketball Checklist


Keys For Collectors

  • While, not an official basketball set, this multi-sport issue contains the rookie card of legend Bob Cousy. 
  • Features the rookie card of Bob Cousy, considered to be one of the best point guards to ever play the game of basketball. 
  • Cards featured crude and grainy images, and many of the baseball images were the same ones used for early Bowman sets. 
  • Five cards (out of the 72 in the set) are basketball players.
  • Cards were issued in two player uncut panels inside of a small box.  
  • The set is often referred to as the "Hit Parade Of Champions"
  • PSA has graded only 100+ of the Bob Cousy card in the set.
     

1951 Berk Ross Basketball Summary + Design


The 1951 Berk Ross Multi-Sport set is a bit of an oddball set, with many believing that the Berk Ross issue was actually an unlicensed issue due to the fact that several Giants players in the 50’s sued two popcorn firms for distributing the Berk Ross cards without permission.  


Cards in the 72 card set, feature a majority of baseball players (40) with five basketball players with the remainder from other sports such as boxing, football, figure skating and hockey among others. 

The design of the 1951 Berk Ross feature a color painting of the player on the front with a white border. The images are quite crude, thus it’s clear that not a lot of effort went into the production of these cards.  As KeymanCollectibles notes the cards likely used a ‘Photostat’, using photographs to create the card. 

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The backs of the 1951 Berk Ross Cards are quite plain with only the "Hit Parade Of Champions' Title at the top along with the player name, position, college, age and other biographical information.  


You can also see at the bottom the 'No-1-11' notation.  The Berk Ross sets were issued in four different subsets, with each subset containing eighteen total cards; ten baseball players with the remaining eight cards in each subset from other sports.  

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Here's a picture of a 1951 Berk Ross box which contained one set of uncut cards. 

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An empty Berk Ross box from the 1951 set.

Here's what an uncut panel looked like straight from the box.  This is an example of Richie Aushburn and Bob Cousy.  These uncut panels certainly hold more of a premium in the marketplace.

cousy-ashburn

1951 Berk Ross Basketball Key Cards


Bob Cousy #1-11 (RC, HOF)

Out of the four basketball cards in the set, the Cousy is the most desired among vintage collectors.  Cousy is well known for his dominance as one of the league's premier point guards for the Boston Celtics, winning six championships over his thirteen year stint.  The 'Couz' as he was also affectionally known, was also a successful broadcaster for the Celtics.  While his 1957 Topps card is considered his true rookie card, the Berk Ross card is highly sought after due to its issuance six years earlier. 

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Dick Schnittker  #1-12 (RC)

Schnittker played only six seasons in the NBA, but was a part of two championship Lakers teams in 1953 and 1954.  His Berk Ross card is fairly inexpensive and in raw condition is often found for under $40. 

schnittker

Sherman White #2-11

Many haven't heard of the name Sherman White, but his name is legendary in basketball circles, unfortunately not in a good way.  White was involved in a point shaving scandal and even his obituary in 2011 referenced it as the first highlight (or lowlight) of his life.  The thing is, that White might have been one of the best to play the game--as a college senior in 1950–51, White was the nation's leading scorer at 27.7 points per game.  He however was barred from the NBA for life on findings that he was taking bribes from gamblers to help beat the spreads.


white-berk

Paul Unruh #3-11 (RC)

Paul Unruh was a college star with Bradley University and was drafted by the Indianapolis Olympians in the second round of the 1950 draft, but unfortunately never actually played in the NBA.  He did earn a spot on the Olympics USA basketball roster however was not able to play for the gold medal winning team in 1952 due to serving for the US Army. 

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Bill Sharman #4-11 (RC, HOF)

Sharman was a part of what is considered to be one of the best backcourts of all time, along with Bob Cousy, playing for the Boston Celtics for ten seasons from 1951 to 1961.  Sharman won an amazing ten championships--four as a player with the Celtics, one as the head coach of the Lakers and five as an executive with the Lakers.  His Berk Ross card is undervalued in my opinion; ungraded copies can often be found for under $100.

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1951 Berk Ross Multi-Sport Checklist


Subset One
1-1 Al Rosen - Baseball
1-2 Bob Lemon - Baseball
1-3 Phil Rizzuto - Baseball
1-4 Hank Bauer - Baseball
1-5 Billy Johnson - Baseball
1-6 Jerry Coleman - Baseball
1-7 Johnny Mize - Baseball
1-8 Dom DiMaggio - Baseball
1-9 Richie Ashburn - Baseball
1-10 Del Ennis - Baseball
1-11 Bob Cousy - Basketball
1-12 Dick Schnittker - Basketball
1-13 Ezzard Charles - Boxing
1-14 Leon Hart - Football
1-15 James Martin - Football
1-16 Ben Hogan - Golf
1-17 Bill Durnan - Hockey
1-18 Bill Quackenbush - Hockey


Subset Two
2-1 Stan Musial - Baseball
2-2 Warren Spahn - Baseball
2-3 Tommy Henrich - Baseball
2-4 Larry "Yogi" Berra - Baseball
2-5 Joe DiMaggio - Baseball
2-6 Bobby Brown - Baseball
2-7 Granville Hamner - Baseball
2-8 Willie Jones - Baseball
2-9 Stanley Lopata - Baseball
2-10 Mike Goliat - Baseball
2-11 Sherman White - Basketball
2-12 Joe Maxim - Boxing
2-13 Sugar Ray Robinson - Boxing
2-14 Doak Walker - Football
2-15 Emil Sitko - Football
2-16 Jack Stewart - Hockey
2-17 Dick Button - Figure skating
2-18 Melvin Patton - Track & Field


Subset Three
3-1 Ralph Kiner - Baseball
3-2 Billy Goodman - Baseball
3-3 Allie Reynolds - Baseball
3-4 Vic Raschi - Baseball
3-5 Joe Page - Baseball
3-6 Eddie Lopat - Baseball
3-7 Andy Seminick - Baseball
3-8 Dick Sisler - Baseball
3-9 Eddie Waitkus - Baseball
3-10 Ken Heintzelman - Baseball
3-11 Paul Unruh - Basketball
3-12 Jake La Motta - Boxing
3-13 Ike Williams - Boxing
3-14 Wade Walker - Football
3-15 Rodney Franz - Football
3-16 Sid Abel - Hockey
3-17 Yvonne Sherman - Figure skating
3-18 Jesse Owens - Track & Field


Subset Four
4-1 Gene Woodling - Baseball
4-2 Cliff Mapes - Baseball
4-3 Fred Sanford - Baseball
4-4 Tommy Byrne - Baseball
4-5 Eddie (Whitey) Ford - Baseball
4-6 Jim Konstanty - Baseball
4-7 Russ Meyer - Baseball
4-8 Robin Roberts - Baseball
4-9 Curt Simmons - Baseball
4-10 Sam Jethroe - Baseball
4-11 Bill Sharman - Basketball
4-12 Sammy Saddler - Boxing
4-13 Margaret Osbourne DuPont - Tennis
4-14 Arnold Galiffa - Football
4-15 Charles Justice - Football
4-16 Glenn Cunningham - Track & Field
4-17 Gregory Rice - Track & Field
4-18 Harrison Dillard - Track & Field


 

1951 Berk Ross Cards for Sale on eBay

1951 Berk Ross Bob Cousy Rare Rookie SGC 3.5

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1951 Berk Ross Set Break # 2-1 Stan Musial VG-VGEX (crease) *GMCARDS*

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1951 Berk Ross #3-18 Jesse Owens PSA 2 RARE FIND OLYMPICS

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1951 Berk Ross #2 Stan Musial SGC 3 VG

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1951 Berk Ross #3-12 Jake LaMotta PSA 5 EX

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1951 Berk Ross #2-4 Yogi Berra

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