Monday, July 29, 2013

1971 Arco Phillies

With all of the vintage baseball card designs Topps has recylced over the years, I'm surprised they haven't used the clean, classic design of the 1971 Arco cards.  In 1971, 8" x 10" cards were produced for four different teams to be given away at Arco gas stations serving those team's markets.  The Red Sox, Yankees, Pirates and Phillies each participated in the promotion, and the 13 Phillies cards are featured here.

Click on any card below to enlarge.

5 comments:

shlabotnikreport said...

I picked up an Arco "card" as part of a player collection, and I was surprised at how nice these are. Literally suitable for framing.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Short looks strange, without his earlier "buzz" cut.

Steve F. said...

Nice, but need more Rick Schu!

Steve F. said...

By the way, the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards notes that these were only made for the Yankees, Red Sox, Phils and Pirates, with all team but the Phils having 12 cards. It also says that Arco sold the extras into the hobby after the promotion was over. I've never seen them in any sort of envelopes, so I suppose there just a pile of them inside the gas station and people just walked out with one after paying. I wonder whether you could choose who you got or they were randomly handed out. Or maybe they were issued one per week? Apparently my parents didn't go to Arco much for gas that summer, as my Phillies set was purchased from a dealer many years ago, and many years after the promotion ran. It's a great set though!

P.S. It looks like they were not exactly well-packaged, presumably the ones sold into the hobby--there is merely a brown band around them:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1971-Arco-Philadelphia-Phillies-Complete-Photo-Set-Bowa-Bunning-McCarver-/360675179750

If this one is accurate as having been as originally packaged, some sets were even more sloppily packaged, with two crooked white bands around them:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1971-ARCO-PITTSBURGH-PIRATES-TEAM-SET-STILL-SEALED-CLEMENTE-STARGELL-/140991283593

Finally, the Phils set linked above doesn't list Harmon, but another set currently on eBay doesn't list Don Money. I've never heard of any cards being scarce, but it's strange how two list a "complete set" but each leaves out a guy. I wonder whether Arco ripped some hobby people off by claiming it was complete at just 12 cards....

Jim said...

One last thought . . . do you think Bunning was asked to remove his cap and "politely" refused?