In 1970, and again in 1971 Fleer released a set of cards depicting each year's World Series matchup. The artwork for the 1970 set (at least some of it) can be traced back to a set that was originally released as a privately marketed set by artist Robert G. Laughlin a few years earlier.
Using the 1966 World Series card as an example, lets take a look at the various cards.
In 1967, the Laughlin set was produced in B&W, and featured a cartoon highlighting each World Series:
Then in 1970, Fleer worked with R. G. Laughlin to produce a color version of the set. Many cards retained much of the artwork from the earlier set like the 1966 card (although there are some minor changes):
Some designs however were completely changed, such as the 1943 World Series card:
In 1971, Fleer issued a new series of World Series cards, with completely new artwork and added the MLB logo:
The backs also changed significantly. The card on the top is the 1970 card, which has blue writing on the back. The 1971 card is pictured on the bottom, and has black writing. The text is completely different, and the 1971 card also summarizes the scores from each game:
You may notice on the back of the 2 cards that the 1966 card is #63 in the 1970 set, but #64 in the 1971 set. The reason for this is that the 1970 set skipped the year 1904 since there was no World Series that year, but the 1971 set contained a 1904 card explaining why the World Series was cancelled:
The 1970 set consists of 66 cards covering 1903 through 1969 (excluding 1904) while the 1971 set increased to 68 cards to include 1904 and the 1970 Series.
The 1971 set was reissued in 1978 with 7 "update" cards covering the 1971 through 1977 World Series which were also done by Bob Laughlin:
and included the same back design and continued the numbering from the 1971 set:
Many collectors are familiar with the 1971 designs as these later appeared on the back of the 1980 Fleer Baseball Stickers (although the set only went back as far as the 1940 World Series it did add the 1971 through the 1979 Series):
The boxes are shown below, with the 1971 box shown on top (with "NEW SERIES") and the 1970 box ("Exclusive 1st Time Ever") on the bottom:
Here is the wrapper from the 1971 set:
and the 1970 wrapper:
To wrap up the review, here is a sample of some more of the 1970 cards:
And a few 1971 cards:
Updating a set like this to add the last 28 years worth of World Series matchups (has it really been than long since I was buying those 1980 Fleer Stickers with the World Series backs!) would make a great Fleer insert set for an upcoming Fleer release. They could even, dare I say it, put a logo sticker on the other side and make it one of the best retro inserts of the year!
Upper Deck - are you listening?