Wednesday, March 24, 2010

World Series Card Set Ads from R. G. Laughlin courtesy of the Troy Files

Following up my previous post on the 1978 Fleer World Series "Update" cards from Bob (R. G.) Laughlin, Troy sent me some more ads from his files - this time for Bob's first World Series set which was a black and white card set he self published back in 1967:

This ad appeared in the June 1967 issue of Ballcard Collector, and features a rough sketch of what would end up being the 1909 World Series card as seen in the sample of the cards below:

Even though the ad mentions that the set was planned to be 63 cards, it actually ended up being 64 cards as it included the 1967 World Series, presumably because by the time Bob finished with his schedule of doing 9 cards per month the 1967 Series would have been played.

Three years after creating his B&W set, R.G. Laughlin teamed up with Fleer in 1970 to produce a similar set of World Series cards, but this time in color

and featuring team insignias. Bob's ad in the June 1970 issue of The Trader Speaks explains:

Bob did change the artwork on a number of the cards from the previous B&W set as he points out, but a number of cards did retain the same drawings.

Its interesting that Bob was selling complete sets, as I would think that would be in direct competition with Fleer as they were trying to sell packs of cards. I'm guessing part of the deal with Fleer allowed Bob to have a certain number of sets for his own that he could sell directly.

Also interesting to note is that he indicates that only 300 of the 1967 B&W set were printed. He is correct that they are collectors items today, but I question the claim that there were only 300 sets, and that they would never be reprinted. A quick check of ebay found 2 complete sets for sale, and a number of individual B&W cards listed. If there were only 300 copies of these cards printed over 40 years ago, I wouldn't expect to see quite so many available today.

Bob did another World Series set for Fleer in 1971 with all new artwork. The picture below shows the difference between the 1970 design (with the year of the Series on a baseball)

and the 1971 design which featured the year above the MLB logo. It was the 1971 set that was then updated in 1978 with additional cards for the 1971 -1977 World Series:

To finish up this look at Bob Laughlin's World Series card ads, here is an ad that he ran advertising original art from all 3 World Series sets:

and here is what one of the pieces looks like (courtesy of Troy's collection):

Thanks once again to Troy for another set of great items from his files as these ads provide great insight into these sets.


Marty said...

Great to see these old Laughlin ads - thanks to Troy for making his "Troy Files" available. Bob really did only print 250-300 of his original black and white sets. He did a second printing in 1974, however, that was probably in the 500-1000 set range, and those are the ones that are quite often seen avaliable on eBay. Interestingly, the original sets are actually two sets in one - the card stock of the cards was too thin, so he ended up gluing two sheets together before cutting them up - on rare occasions you will see an original card on eBay that has come apart, so the front or back will show a yellowish glue residue. Any big Laughlin fans out there can drop me a line at - happy to trade cards or information! Keep up the great work here on the sticker project!

Bill Ricciardo said...

I spoke with Bob in the mid-1970's and he told me that the original B&W 1967 World Series cards were first printed in a quantitly of 250. He then reprinted them and the difference was the original 250 were printed on white card stock
'white backs
' and the reprints were printed on light gray card stock. He offered to buy my set of white backs because he didn't keep an original set for himself. I do not know how many gray backs were printed. He advertised (I have copies) that his cards were printed in the hundreds and not millions in his ads in the 1970's.