Interesting that Jason, our Committee co-chair, should highlight this card in his recent post of cards on cards.
Interesting, because the post hit right as I was acquiring two lots to get close to finishing the set. It’s the 1974 Fleer Baseball Firsts set, a 42-card issue of R. G. Laughlin’s great work.
I’ve written before about Laughlin sets. I’ve been able to complete some that I had a head start on (1972 Famous Feats, 1973 Wildest Days and Plays). Others I had – 1971 World Series and 1974 Pioneers of Baseball. One I picked up super cheaply – 1972 Great Feats (red). Still more are pricey as hell, but I’m playing a long game.
I knew I had some of the Baseball Firsts cards from buying packs. I dug them out and found I only had 17 of 42. Not enough to really work with, but I started checking out some lots. I found one with 7 cards I needed and, in a co-bid with Mark Armour, picked up 37 of 42. (20 are headed to Mark, 17 stayed with me).
Here they are (sorry for the sheet glare):
I find it amazing that, in 1974, the earliest days of intense labor strife in major league baseball, Fleer would issue a Players’ Association card. Brave, and maybe a big middle finger to MLB and Topps, who kept Fleer at bay (and would for 7 more years).
The Carl Mays card is creepy AF, capturing Mays’ delivery, shrouded in black, with the Grim Reaper peeking out behind the pitcher’s mound. On a lighter note, the Helmet card seems to feature scrubbing bubbles.
None of these cards should really run more than $1-2, and having a somewhat anonymous Jackie Robinson helps. I have no doubt that if the front of the card had his name, it would cost $10.
The Farm System card looks like a scene from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The empty spot on this page is reserved for Landis, on reserve at COMC.
The one I need, #6, is this:
If anyone has it, or an extra, let me know. I’ve got its final resting place already prepared: