Thursday, September 16, 2021

1982 advertisement for East Coast Sports Service Inc.

I plan to write a post one of these years about the Street & Smith's baseball yearbooks of the early 1980s, as they were an integral part of the growth of my baseball fandom. Tonight, however, I just want to share this advertisement from the inside back cover of the 1982 Street & Smith's (which features Rollie Fingers and Pete Rose on cover).

"East Coast Sports Service" only gets me three hits on Google (prior to this post going live), so it's truly been lost to the sands of time. It was a sports "forecasting" service that claimed — for a price, of course — to have all the insider information that bettors needed to have the most chance of success with their sports gambling.

This was decades before there was easy online access to crucial information like injury reports, daily roster moves, weather reports and statistical breakdowns (like righty-lefty or home-road splits). So East Coast aimed to make its money by gathering that information from baseball "insiders" in each Major League Baseball city (probably just a guy who subscribed to the local newspaper, or perhaps a sportswriter in some cases) and aggregating it for folks who sought to make educated bets on the games.

The advertising copy includes these pitches (no pun intended):

  • "East Coast has the expertise that comes only from years of winning experience to correctly analyze the information and produce flocks of winners."
  • "The ability to pick underdog winners is synonomus [sic] with East Coast Sports!"
  • "Therefore, by teaming with us you maximize your profits and minimize your losses."

Then there are the testimonials, which, of course, are impossible to validate. (We've been down that road often on Papergreat. See, for example, Glover's Imperial Mange Medicine.) One bettor claims to have financed a three-week trip to Acapulco with his gambling profits. Others say they netted $10,000 or $12,500 (even with the 1981 baseball strike). There are no testimonials, though, from the many folks who surely lost their hat, shirt, dog and/or house. 

Gambling doesn't pay, kids. Don't gamble. 

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