Saturday, June 7, 2008

1976: Fleer Pioneers of Baseball 2nd Printing and Baseball Iron Ons

I recently acquired an issue of Collectors Quarterly from 1976 which was an early hobby publication. In the magazine, I found some interesting information regarding the Pioneers of Baseball Set issued along with the 1975 Cloth Patches:


according to Bob Laughlin (who did the artwork for the Fleer World Series sets and other Fleer sets like Famous Feats) in the article "'Pioneers' Near Wipeout" below, Fleer did a second printing the Pioneers of Baseball set:


Apparently there were 2 short prints in the 2nd printing (#7 & # 21).

The other interesting item from Bob Laughlin is the discussion of an all new Fleer World Series set for 1977 that unfortunately never came to pass.

The above article appeared in the Fall 1976 issue of Collectors Quarterly (edited by none other than MSNBC Countdown anchor and former ESPN Sports Center anchor Keith Olbermann!)

Keith is a well known card collector, and is currently writing a series of articles that are appearing in Sports Collectors Digest (SCD) regarding Topps Proof Cards, (like the famous Reggie Jackson 1977 proof card showing him as an Oriole):

Turning back to Fleer, they released a new set of Iron Ons in 1976. Unlike the 1969 & 1970 Iron Ons which had 3 teams per sheet, the 1976 version contained 1 iron on, and was much larger in size.

The back of the wrapper includes instructions on how to apply the iron on:


There is a very unique Cardinals logo on the back that I have never seen anyplace else.


The Red Sox Iron On allows us to confirm that this was a 1976 issue as it shows them as American League Champs (from the 1975 season):

To give you an idea of how big the iron ons are, here is a comparison between an iron on and a Fleer logo sticker:

I haven't seen too many of these for sale, but here are the other teams that I have come across:



1976 was the final year that Fleer issued Iron Ons. I'm pretty sure these were never big sellers. I don't think too many kids wanted to spend money on a pack of iron ons when there was a 1 in 24 chance of getting their favorite team since there was only 1 iron on per pack. I don't think a kid who liked the Red Sox would be looking to iron on a Padres logo onto their shirt.

UPDATE April 2010:

Thanks to Randy, we've got a picture of the unusual St. Louis Cardinals logo that was apparently only used for a very short time back in the mid 1970s:

2 comments:

Dave - Fielder's Choice said...

Wow - thanks for the scan of Keith Olbermann's letter from the editor - that is awesome!

Matthew Glidden said...

Thanks for the great work on this set and images of Laughlin's newsletter. Your research's reach is really impressive. Heads up I just pointed folks back to this entry from my June 26 posting at The #5 Type Collection.

http://cli.gs/TTmDTS