Bass Pro Shop Grand Opening, The Springfield News-Leader, November 23, 1972

If you’re like me and have a few logo clothing items in your closet from Bass Pro Shops, you’ll probably see that they were established in 1972 in Springfield, MO, taking up a little space at the Brown Derby liquor store. For today’s historical photo, I came across this two page ad for Bass Pro Shop/Brown Derby grand opening that was featured in the local Springfield newspaper.

The first thing of note is the name – Bass Pro Shop (singular).  It’s interesting because at the time Johnny had taken space at two of his father’s Brown Derby Liquor Stores located at 3543 S. Campbell (the main Bass Pro Shop headquarters) as well as at 503 College St., both in Springfield, MO.

It appears that this was his third store Grand Opening celebration, as you’ll notice that the sale and ad prices were only good at this new location at 1828 N. Glenstone.

Looking deeper into this ad and comparing it to an ad we posted last year, in 1972 Bass Pro Shops Spring Sale, you’ll notice that the name in that ad is Bass Pro Shops.  This must have been a typo either made by the paper or the person who submitted the logo to the paper.

That’s enough of the nit-picking.  Let’s investigate this ad a bit more.

The guest list includes 1971 BASSMASTER Classic winner Bobby Murray who would be in person all day Friday along with Bill Ring, some local guides, and other leading personalities in the fishing world.  Couple that with FREE Coca Cola and Hot Dogs and a liquor sale and you have one heck of an event.  It does seem like an odd combination for an ad.

Next let’s check out some of the advertised items.  Johnny was selling Virgil Ward’s Bass Buster jigs for $0.29 each, Tom Mann’s Little George for $0.29 each, Pedigo and Uncle Josh pork rind for just $0.39 a jar, along with original Bombers for just $0.69 apiece.

Other great bargains were Fenwick rod blanks for under $2 each, Cordell Hot Spots for $0.66 each, and Top Hog and Bush Hog spinnerbaits also for $0.66 each.  Imagine going back to that time and stocking up on old Bombers or Pork.

It’s crazy to think how Johnny Morris could have sold at these prices and still make any money.  I’m not sure what the margins were but evidently he was doing something right.  How cool would it be to be able to say you were at one of the first BPS store grand openings?