Friday, March 12, 2010

Before There Were Blogs - Hobby News on Fleer releases from 1969 from the Troy Files

Over the past few weeks, I have been receiving some amazing hobby articles from the late 1960's through the mid 1970's from Troy that I will be sharing in this and in future posts.

Troy wrote for Baseball Hobby News from the late 1980's through the early 1990's, and wrote a book published in 1990 entitled "Collectors Guide to Baseball Cards". Over the years, Troy has built quite a collection of hobby articles. As he had been reading through my posts on the Fleer Quiz cards, he wrote to let me know that he had some articles that he would be glad to share.

The first one he sent was fantastic (click on the picture for a larger view):

This is an issue of a card collecting newsletter entitled The Ball Card Collector from July, 1969. Since the issue indicates this is Vol 4, Issue 7 (July), presumably this newsletter would have started back in 1966! Not only does this newsletter contain articles that were typed on a typewriter (remember those!) and photocopied, it actually includes pictures of some of the stickers and cards as well.

1969 Fleer Cloth Patches & Stadium Cards

This issue reviews the 1969 Fleer Cloth Patches and contains some very important information that helps clarify which cards were included with the stickers. Since neither the wrappers nor the boxes indicate the type of cards that came in the packs along with Fleer's various sticker releases, there has always been uncertainty as to which card set went with which sticker set.

Thanks to Troy, we now have some answers!

According to the article, the 1969 Fleer Baseball Patches

came packaged with Fleer's Stadium Cards:

and as best I can tell, came in this box

with this wrapper:

The other interesting bit of information that makes sense given the Expos are missing from Fleer's other 1969 releases is that there was no Expos cloth patch in the 1969 set. This article says that the Expos were missing because "Montreal's emblems were not designed in time".

According to this UPI news item, it doesn't appear that the Expos logo had been finalized until January, 1969 as this article was published on January 15, 1969:

so it may well be that the reason the Expos were not included was that they simply didn't have a logo ready when Fleer was developing these sets. Of course, the Expos weren't the only expansion team trying to finalize their insignia. The 1969 Fleer Cloth Patches have a very interesting Seattle Pilots patch featuring orange which was never one of their colors:

and a Royals patch which has "KC" in gold which was never used:

The writer of the article asks a question that I have also wondered about the Stadium cards - why were some stadiums like Baltimore, St. Louis, and Cincinnati not included, especially when some stadiums were used twice.

The article continues on to a second page where we find out some important information about the Fleer Baseball Pennant & Stamps set as well as the Fleer 3D Trophy Plaques set:

1969 Fleer Baseball Pennants & Stamps and Quiz Cards

From this article, we now know that the 1969 Fleer Baseball Pennants & Stamps set

came with quiz cards

The great thing about the newsletter including a picture of the Braves quiz card is that it confirms what I had suspected was the order in which the quiz cards were released.

From studying the quiz card variations, I had concluded that the quiz card with 3 questions and the smaller logo was from 1969 (left), the quiz card with 2 questions was from 1970 (middle), and the quiz card with 3 questions and the larger logo was from 1971 (right).

This picture proves that the card on the left above was in fact from 1969!

Here is the wrapper for the Pennants & Stamps:

as well as the box:

Once again, the Expos are not included on the quiz cards or the pennants and stamps, which verifies what I had suspected about the Expos when I previously reviewed their quiz cards.

1969 Fleer 3D Trophy Plaques

The article on the Fleer 3D Trophy Plaques confirms that the Expos were not included in this set either. Here is a look at one of the 3D Trophy Plaques:

along with the box

and the wrapper

Coming Full Circle

I never realized there were hobby newsletters from as far back as the mid to late 1960's. Its fascinating to me to see articles like this where collectors are sharing information on new releases. In some ways, its really not that much different than what many collectors now do through their blogs today.

I'd like to say thanks to Troy for his generosity in sharing the articles that he has been sending to me. This is exactly the type of thing I had hoped for when I started The Fleer Sticker Project - information from other collectors to better document these often overlooked sets. This one article alone has proved extremely helpful in confirming a number of items which up to this point had been based on speculation.

Stay tuned as I've got some more interesting articles to share as we continue to take a look at The Troy Files.


John Bateman said...

This was a great ( and historic find), THis is the first article from the 1960s I ever seen. One of the great posts of all time

John Bateman said...

This was a great ( and historic find), THis is the first article from the 1960s I ever seen. One of the great posts of all time

toppcat said...

Hey Jon-nice write-up. Hobby publications actually go back the to the 1930's. There is an excellent article by George Vrechek about them all here: A number of hobby zines were available in the 60's and 70's, which are not fully covered as the scope of the article is on earlier ones. Now we have blogs!

toppcat said...

My bad-the link is incomplete as the site only has a static address. If you click through to the Library section and look for the Old Hobby Publications article it will be apparent.

Fleerfan said...

Dave - thanks for the article on OBC about the early hobby publications. I found the article you were referencing. Fascinating information!