Published Set: Paleocards - 1974 Laughlin Old-Time Black Stars
In 1974, when R.G. Laughlin produced this obscure set as an homage to the largely unknown and still unappreciated stars of the Negro Leagues, only four (Paige, Gibson, Leonard & Bell) of the 36 players featured had been enshrined in baseball's Hall of Fame. But Laughlin's choice of players was remarkably prescient -- over the next 32 years 18 more of these ballplayers received the call to Cooperstown. In all, 22 of the 36 cards in this set depict HOFers. It can be reasonably argued that for at least 9 of these stars, their '74 Laughlin card is their true RC since they had no other baseball cards produced of them before this set! (To give credit where it's due: much of this info comes from Brian Hodes aka BKH, the proud owner of the former #1 finest set.) As of August 27, 2017, this set has attained the highest-possible grade and rating. All 36 cards are represented by highest-graded examples with one-third (12) of them Pop 1's. Many thanks to Brian Hodes for trading me the final three cards I needed to achieve this goal.
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