Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Vintage Consignment- Part 6 (Fleer Laughlins)

Fleer's foray into baseball cards began in the 1959 when Fleer was able to sign Ted Williams away from Topps in what was truly the first player exclusive licensing deal. The resulting coup led to the Fleer Ted Williams set. Fleer returned in 1960 and 1961 with the now famous Greats of the Game sets depicting some of the greatest players of all time. In 1963, Fleer mysteriously released and then abandoned a 66 card set of current players.

Skip ahead to 1970-1972. Fleer commissioned artist R.G. Laughlin to produce a World Series set that released in 1970 and was then replicated in 1971. Interesting to note, that both sets bear the copyright of 1968 causing confusion to many collectors through the years.

In 1972 Fleer released a Famous Feats set in an oversized format measuring 2-1/2" x 4" and again being penned by Mr Laughlin.

Below from from left to right are sample from 1970, 1971, and 1972. Interesting to note in comparing the 1970 and '71 World Series cards is the incorporation of the MLB logo into the 1971 design.

In total, I found (7) 1970's, (15) 1971's and (1) 1972.

To learn more about Fleer's Laughlin series, this is a great article by Alan Kleinberger at Sports Collectors Digest.

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