AMOUNT SPENT ON 2012 TOPPS BASEBALL: $0.00

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some thoughts on Beckett-Gate.

Normally, I do not comment about "Lotto Pack" products, but recent events have led me to reconsider. First, take a look at this video of 2007 Upper Deck Exquisite Football.



You get the idea.

Now it would be one thing if it were isolated to just 2007 Upper Deck Exquisite football. Maybe Beckett got lucky, maybe not. But if you look at some of Beckett's other video box breaks, they've seem to be getting "Hit of a Lifetime" cards out of all sorts of UD, Topps, and Donruss-Playoff products in all sports (and non-sports).

All of which leads me to wonder: W.W.J.D. What Would Jim Do? Say what you want about Jim Beckett, but no one (and I mean, NO ONE) ever questioned the man's integrity. Beckett truly was "The Hobby's most reliable and relied upon source," and part of that had to do with the man in charge. But no more.

Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with Beckett (or anybody else in The Hobby media) doing video box breaks and product reviews. Objective consumer reporting is a vital component to any respectable journalism outlet. Nor should Beckett be held to account 100% for this debacle. Topps, UD, Donruss, et al, may very well be sending Beckett loaded boxes. (And it's not just Beckett either, as this video from Dr. Wax Battle shows.) Beckett probably is an unwilling accomplice, and we should give them benefit of the doubt. But Beckett should have never put itself in this position in the first place.

May I make a proposal? From now on, anyone in The Hobby media who reviews product should no longer accept free samples from card manufacturers, and the manufacturers should no longer offer them to the press. If you're going to review wax, and expect your reviews to be taken seriously, then pay for your box like the rest of us.

I'm proud to say that in my 9+ years of reviewing wax, I've never received any free cards from the manufacturers. And I can say to you with full confidence, that every single product I've ever reviewed on this site was paid for out of my own pocket at current market prices. I don't think it's too much to ask of Beckett -- or anyone else who reviews wax -- to do the same. W.W.J.D.?

Video Box Break: 2008 Upper Deck Series One Super Star Blaster.



EDITOR'S NOTE: After this video was taken, I discovered a Barack Obama Presidential Predictor insert buried in with the base cards.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

National Baseball Card Day. What a Fustercluck.

So, did you hear that today, Saturday, March 29, 2008 was declared "National Baseball Card Day?" You didn't? Well, you weren't the only one.

Of course you'd never know it actually was National Baseball Card Day from Major League Baseball's website. Or for that matter Beckett.com. I guessing a story about redemption cards from Donruss Elite Extra Edition (a company that still doesn't have either a MLB or MLBPA license) takes precedence over promoting The Hobby to civilians.

And the good folks at the Deptford, NJ Toys R Us didn't know that today was National Baseball Card Day either. But at least the manager of the Cherry Hill Toys R Us had a clue. Too bad their allotment of free packs never arrived.

I think the Cardboard Junkie said it best: "Did they come up with this thing at the last minute or something? I really shouldn't complain about free cards, but anyone who remembers the hobby store events and monster packs of swag that was given away a few years ago would be disappointed in this stealth holiday. It just seems that the manufacturers this year are putting about 10% effort into everything. Really, it's not that hard to put together a decent promotion and actually promote the thing."

No Junkie, they're not putting 10% effort into everything. Just their marketing and promotion, that's all.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Complete "Always Be Collecting" Fleer Tribute


"What do you mean the checklist in 1993 Fleer is weak? It's a good set. We know what it is. It's fine. All I'm saying, you look at the checklist, they threw...wait, wait, wait, Fleer threw the Piazza RC away. All that I'm saying, they wasted their Piazza rookie."

For your convenience and future reference, here's a link to all the A.B.C. Fleer posts.

Pre-1981 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Reason #423 Why Topps Moments & Milestones is a Joke.

Is this what Topps meant by "Added Value in Every Pack?"

Courtesy of the must-read Sports Collectors Daily:

"Topps is confirming that because of what it calls 'a manufacturing error' in the recently-released 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones Baseball, card numbers 145-189 feature more than one red parallel.

"By design, each of the Rookie Cards 145-189 should only have one Red Parallel (1 of 1), but because of the error the subjects have an additional 20 Red Parallels."


In other words, the only "true" ones-of-one in TM&M -- and the only ones-of-one that might actually be worth more than the price of a waxpack -- are actually 20s-of-one.

Congratulations, suckers!

What Did We Learn Today?

So now that the Stale Gum year-by-year tribute to Fleer Baseball is (mercifully) over, what did you think?

Now that Fleer baseball is gone, what was its legacy to The Hobby?

What was the greatest Fleer/Fleer Tradition baseball card ever?

What was the worst Fleer/Fleer Tradition set ever?

I have my picks, and I'll be revealing them shortly. But for now, I yield the floor to you.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Always Be Collecting: 2007 Fleer

Do you know what it takes to review every single Fleer baseball set ever?



2007 Fleer

Base Set: 430 cards (one series; last 30 cards exclusive to factory set)
  • short set: 350 cards
  • Rookies: 50 cards (two-per-pack)
  • Factory set exclusive Rookies: 30 cards
Parallels:
  • Minis: 400 cards (1:2)
  • Gold Minis: 400 cards (1:576)
  • Press Plates: (1:720)
Inserts:
  • Crowning Achievement: 20 cards (1:5)
  • In the Zone: 10 cards (1:10)
  • Perfect 10: 20 cards (1:5)
  • Rookie Sensations: 25 cards (at least one-per-pack)
  • Soaring Stars: 42 cards (1:2 Fat Packs)
  • Year in Review: 20 cards (1:5)
Autogamers:
  • Autographics: 26 cards (1:720)
  • Fresh Ink: 24 cards (1:720)
  • Genuine Coverage: 40 cards (1:720)
Packaging: 36 pack, 10-card retail waxboxes; 18 pack, 52-card Fat Pack boxes; factory sets.

Notable Cards: Andrew Miller RC, factory set exclusive RCs of Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Lincecum, Hideki Okajima and Alex Gordon.
Other Notes:
  • Retail only product.
  • Each 10-card pack contained two cards from a 50-card MLBPA "Rookie" subset (cards #321-#370), thereby making the "Rookies" more available than any of the other base set cards.
  • Each pack also contained two inserts: one Rookie Sensation and either a second Rookie Sensation or another insert. (A typical 36-pack waxbox yielded 40-45 Rookie Sensations.)
  • All the inserts are not sequentially numbered. Instead, as has become custom with autogamers, inserts are "numbered" with the player's initials.
  • Once again, a factory set was issued at the end of the year. And once again, it contained over 30 additional base set cards. Unlike 2006's factory set, the 2007 version had some actual RCs. (Dice-K, Lincecum, Okajima)
Full Set: $50 (NmMT)
Full Set (factory): $60 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 2006 Fleer

2006 Fleer

Base Set: 430 cards (one series; last 30 cards exclusive to factory sets)
Parallels:
  • Glossy: 400 cards (1:12 Hobby, 1:24 retail)
  • Glossy Gold: 400 cards (1:144)
Inserts:
  • Awards Winners: 6 cards*
  • Lumber Company: 25 cards*
  • Smoke 'n Heat: 15 cards*
  • Smooth Leather: 14 cards*
  • Team Leaders: 30 cards*
  • Top 40: 40 cards (two-per-pack, fat pack exclusive)
  • Stars of Tomorrow: 10 cards (1:10)
  • Team Fleer: 15 cards (1:360)
* Stated odds of finding an insert from one of these sets: one-per-pack.

Autogamers:
  • Autographics: 9 cards (1:432)
  • Fleer Fabrics: 42 cards (1:36 Hobby, 1:72 retail)
Packaging: 36 pack, 10-card Hobby waxboxes; 24 pack, 10-card retail waxboxes; 14 pack, 10-card Blasters; 20 pack, 52-card Fat Pack boxes; factory sets
Notable Cards: The dozens of factory-set exclusive parenth-RCs.
Other Notes:
  • First Fleer Baseball set produced by Upper Deck.
  • Five years after Fleer-Skybox screwed over set builder by issuing a factory set with additional base set cards, Upper Deck issues a factory set with additional base set cards. Although in UD's defense, 2006 was the first year the MLBPA limited the number of releases to 20, and a dedicated Update set would have counted against that figure.
  • First year of the MLBPA's "ROOKIE CARD" icon program; however, most 2006 Fleer cards bearing that icon are not "true" RCs.
Full Set: $40 (NmMT)
Full Set (factory): $50 (NmMT)


2006 Fleer Tradition

Base Set: 200 cards (one series)
Parallels:
  • Sepia: (1:3 Hobby, 1:18 retail)
  • Black & White: (1:9 Hobby, 1:36 retail)
  • Press Plates: (1:288, Hobby exclusive)
Inserts:
  • 1934 Goudey Greats: 100 cards (1:36, Hobby Exclusive)
  • Blue Chip Prospects: 25 cards (1:6 Hobby, 1:18 retail)
  • Diamond Tribute: 25 cards (1:9 Hobby, 1:36 retail)
  • Grass Roots: 25 cards (1:6 Hobby, 1:36 retail)
  • Triple Crown Contenders: 15 cards (1:9 Hobby, 1:36 retail)
Autogamers:
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. 1989 Fleer Autographed Buyback: 1 card (Hobby exclusive, numbered to 99)
  • Traditional Threads: 41 cards (1:41 Hobby, 1:108 retail)
  • Signature Tradition: 2 cards (1:1269, Hobby exclusive)
Packaging: 36 pack, 10-card Hobby waxboxes; 36 pack, 10-card retail waxboxes;

Notable Cards: Kenji Johjima and Jon Lester RCs, Ryan Zimmerman, Jonathan Papelbon parenth-RCs.
Other Notes:
  • In lieu of releasing an Update set, Upper Deck released this one-off product. They probably would have done better if they went with the Update set.
  • Much like the 2002, Upper Deck released both a "Fleer Baseball" and "Fleer Tradition Baseball" sets. Unlike 2002, '06 Fleer Baseball is considered to be part of the Fleer/Fleer Tradition "lineage," while '06 Fleer Tradition should not.
  • A design that borrows from various Topps sets from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
  • First Fleer set with Press Plates.
Full Set: $30 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 2005 Fleer Tradition

2005 Fleer Tradition

Base Set: 350 cards (one series)
  • short set: 300 cards
  • Trio Prospects: 30 cards (1:2)
  • Award Winners: 10 cards (1:2)
  • 2004 Post Season: 10 cards (1:2)
Parallels:
  • Gray Backs (1:2)
  • Yellow Letter Gray Backs (1:36)
Inserts:
  • Club 3000/500/300: 20 cards (1:360)
  • Cooperstown Tribute: 10 cards (varies from 1972-2000 copies, Hobby exclusive; Gold: 1:24, retail exclusive)
  • Diamond Tributes: 25 cards (1:6)
  • Standouts: 15 cards (1:18)
Autogamers:
  • Cooperstown Tribute Jersey: 10 cards (1:200; Patch: numbered to 10)
  • Diamond Tribute Jersey: 18 cards (1:30; Patch: numbered to 50)
  • Diamond Tribute Double Patch: 10 cards (numbered to 50)
  • Standouts Jersey: 11 cards (1:18; Patch: Numbered to 50)
Packaging: 36 pack, 10-card Hobby boxes; 24 pack, 10-card retail boxes; 14 pack 10-card Blasters.
Other Notes:
  • Originally intended as a massive 750-card, three series set, 2005 Fleer Tradition was limited to one 350-card series due to Fleer's bankruptcy.
  • Design influenced by 1961 Topps -- complete with "cloudy" backgrounds.
Full Set: $150 (NmMT)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Always Be Collecting: 2004 Fleer Tradition

2004 Fleer Tradition

Base Set: 500 cards (one series)
  • short set: 400 cards
  • Short Prints: 45 cards (1:2)
  • Standouts: 17 cards (1:6)
  • Award Winners: 9 cards (1:9)
  • Prospect Trios: 30 cards (1:3)
Inserts:
  • Career Tributes: (1:36, numbered from 1956-1993 copies; Die-Cut: numbered from 56-93 copies)
  • Diamond Tributes: 20 cards (1:6)
  • Retrospection: 10 cards (1:360)
  • This Day in History: 15 cards (1:18)
Autogamers:
  • Diamond Tributes Game Jersey: 20 cards (1:36; Patch: Numbered to 50)
  • Retrospection Autographs: 16 cards (1:720)
  • Retrospection Dual Autographs: 8 cards (1:720, numbered to 19)
  • Stand Outs Game Used: 11 cards (1:41; Gold: numbered from 20-27)
  • This Day in History Game Used: 10 cards (1:288)
  • This Day in History Game Used Dual: 5 cards (numbered to 25)
Packaging: 36 pack, 10-card Hobby waxboxes; 24 pack, 10-card retail wax.
Other Notes:
  • Put a stamp on this one, because Fleer mailed this one in.
  • Design loosely based on 1990 Fleer. 1990 Fleer? Ummm, yeah.
  • Design of Retrospection cards based on the 1960 Fleer set.
Full Set: $150 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 2003 Fleer Tradition

2003 Fleer Tradition

Base Set: 485 cards
  • Short Prints: 100 cards (one-per Hobby pack, 1:12 retail)
  • short set: 385 cards
Inserts:
  • '36 Goudey: 25 cards (numbered to 1936, Hobby exclusive; Gold: numbered to 36, Hobby Exclusive; Red: numbered to 500, retail exclusive)
  • Checklist: 15 cards (1:4)
  • Hardball Preview: 10 discs (1:400 Hobby, 1:480 retail)
  • Lumber Company: 30 cards (1:10 Hobby, 1:12 retail)
  • Milestones: 25 cards (1:5 Hobby, 1:4 retail)
  • Standouts: 15 cards (1:40 Hobby, 1:72 retail)
Autogamers:
  • Tradition Game Used: 44 cards (1:35 Hobby, 1:90 retail; Gold: numbered to 100)
  • Lumber Company Game Used: 24 cards (1:108 Hobby, 1:195 retail; Gold: production varies)
  • Milestones Game Used: 14 cards (1:143 Hobby, 1:270 retail; Gold: numbered to 100)
Packaging: 40 pack, 10-card Hobby boxes; 24 pack, 10-card retail boxes; 10 pack, 10-card Blasters.

Notable "Cards": Blaster exclusive Barry Bonds pin.
Other Notes:
  • Based on the design of various 1970s-era MSA disc sets, the Fleer Hardball inserts were a promo for the upcoming set of the same name. Never heard of 2003 Fleer Hardball? Don't worry, you didn't miss much.
  • Speaking of forgettable... Five years after including an insert based on the 1963 set, Fleer went to the well again by designing the whole 2003 Fleer Tradition around the '63s.
  • Among the 100 Short Prints are 34 players active in 1963 who did not appear in the original '63 Fleer set.
  • Backs of unnumbered Checklists form puzzles of Derek Jeter and Barry Bonds.
Full Set: $150 (NmMT)


2003 Fleer Tradition Update

Base Set: 398 cards
  • short set: 285 cards
  • "Pack" Rookies: 14 cards (1:4)
  • "Box" Rookies: 99 cards (25-per"Rookie" Box.)
Parallels:
  • Glossy: 885 cards (1:24 retail, randomly inserted into Hobby, numbered to 100) Includes cards from both Fleer Tradition and Fleer Tradition Update.
Inserts:
  • Diamond Debuts: 25 cards (1:8 retail, 1:10 Hobby)
  • Long Gone!: 20 cards (1:72 retail, randomly inserted into Hobby, production varies from 410-536 copies)
  • Milestones: 20 cards (1:6 retail, 1:8 Hobby)
  • Turn Back the Clock: 10 cards (1:160 Hobby, 1:288 retail)
Autogamers:
  • Milestones Game Jersey: 16 cards (1:20 Hobby, 1:96 retail; Gold: numbered to 100)
  • Throwback Threads: 5 cards (1:64 Hobby, 1:288 retail; Patch: numbered to 100)
  • Throwback Threads Dual: 2 cards (numbered to 100)
Packaging: 32 pack, 10-card Hobby waxboxes w/25-card "Rookie" box as a chiptopper; 24 pack, 10-card retail boxes; 10 pack, 10-card Blasters.
Notable Cards: Hideki Matsui, Delmon Young, Chien-Ming Wang RCs
Other Notes:
  • In a rather confusing (and in retrospective downright stupid) packaging gimmick, each Hobby waxbox contained a 25-card "Rookie" box. The final 99 cards in the base set were only available in this box and not in packs.
  • More of a second series than a true "Update" set. Includes base cards such players as Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling and Alfonso Soriano -- all of whom were not included in Fleer Tradition.
  • Last year for Fleer Tradition Update.
Full Set: $150 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 2002 Fleer Tradition

2002 Fleer Tradition

Base Set: 500 cards
  • Short Prints: 100 cards (1:2, stealth)
  • short set: 400 cards
Parallels: Glossy (numbered to 200)
Inserts:
  • Diamond Tributes: 15 cards (1:6 Hobby, 1:10 retail)
  • Grass Roots: 10 cards (1:18 Hobby, 1:20 retail)
  • Heads Up: 10 cards (1:36 Hobby, 1:40 retail)
  • Lumber Company: 30 cards (1:12 Hobby, 1:20 retail)
  • This Day in History: 29 cards (1:18 Hobby, 1:24 retail)
Autogamers:
  • Grass Patch: 10 cards (limited to 50 copies)
  • Lumber Company Bat: 30 cards (1:72)
  • This Day in History Autographed: 8 cards (production varies from 50-100 copies)
  • This Day in History Game Used: 22 cards (production varies from 50-250 copies)
Packaging: 36 pack, 10-card Hobby waxboxes; 10 pack, 10-card Blasters.
Other Notes:
  • Design based on the 1934 Goudey set.
  • One year after screwing over set builders with a factory set, collectors take it in door number two again after it is discovered that the first 100 cards in the base set are short-printed. Fleer never mentioned anywhere in run-up to Tradtion's release that there were any SPs.
Full Set: $200 (NmMT)


2002 Fleer Tradition Update

Base Set: 400 cards
  • Prospects: 100 cards (one-per-pack)
  • short set: 300 cards
Parallels: Glossy (numbered to 200)
Inserts:
  • Diamond Debuts: 15 cards (1:6)
  • Grass Roots: 10 cards (1:18)
  • Heads Up: 10 cards (1:36)
  • New York's Finest: 15 cards (1:83)
  • Plays of the Week: 30 cards (1:12)
  • This Day in History: 25 cards (1:12)
Autogamers:
  • Grass Patch: 7 cards (numbered to 50)
  • Heads Up Game Used Caps: 11 cards (numbered to 150)
  • New York's Finest Single Swatch: 20 cards (1:112)
  • New York's Finest Double Swatch: 6 cards
  • This Day in History Autographs: 6 cards (1:582)
  • This Day in History Game Used: 20 cards (1:28)
Packaging: 28 pack, 10-card Hobby boxes; 10 pack, 10-card Blasters
Notable Cards: Oliver Perez RC
Other Notes:
  • First Update set released in pack form since 1996.
  • Largest Fleer Update set ever.
  • First 100 cards in set short-printed, but at least Fleer had the courtesy to state that they were SPed.
  • Designs and names of most inserts were recycled from the base set.
Full Set: $120 (NmMT)


2002 Fleer

Base Set: 540 cards
Parallels:
  • Gold Letters (15% of total production run)
  • Minis (numbered to 50, retail exclusive)
  • Tiffany (numbered to 200, Hobby exclusive)
Inserts:
  • Barry Bonds Career Highlights: 10 cards (1:12 Hobby, 1:36 retail)
  • Diamond Standouts: 10 cards (serial numbered to 1200)
  • Golden Memories: 15 cards (1:24)
  • Headliners: 20 cards (1:8 Hobby, 1:12 retail)
  • Rookie Flashbacks: 20 cards (1:3, retail exclusive)
  • Rookie Sensations: 20 cards (numbered to 1500, Hobby exclusive)
  • Then and Now: 10 cards (numbered to 275, Hobby exclusive)
Autogamers:
  • Barry Bonds Career Highlights Autographed: 10 cards (numbered to 25 each)
  • Classic Cuts Autographs: 9 cards (1:432, Hobby exclusive)
  • Classic Cuts Game Used: 94 cards (1:24)
  • Classic Cuts Game Used Autographs: 3 cards (limited to 35 or 45 copies)
Packaging: 24 pack, 10-card Hobby packs; 10 pack, 10-card Blasters.

Notable Cards: Classic Cuts
Other Notes:
  • A one-off product, 2002 Fleer is not considered to be part of the Fleer/Fleer Tradition "lineage."
  • Despite this, many collectors consider this set to be a superior product to 2002 Fleer Tradition.
  • Hobby exclusive Rookie Sensations and retail exclusive Rookie Flashbacks have the same 20-card checklist.
  • Barry Bonds Career Highlights use the same design as the 1992 Roger Clemens Career Highlights insert.
Full Set: $100 (NmMT)

Always Be Collection: 2001 Fleer Tradition

2001 Fleer Tradition

Base Set: 485 cards (last 35 cards exclusive to factory set)
Inserts:
  • Diamond Tributes: 30 cards (1:7)
  • Grass Roots: 15 cards (1:18)
  • Lumber Company: 20 cards (1:12)
  • Stitches in Time: 24 cards (1:18)
  • Warning Track: 23 cards (1:72)
Autogamers:
  • Stitches in Time Autographed: 7 cards (1:144)
  • Stitches in Time Memorabilia: 5 cards (1:144)
  • Turn Back the Clock: 21 jersey cards (1:144)
Packaging: 36 pack, 10-card waxboxes; 12 pack, 10-card Blasters; factory sets.
Notable Cards:
Dozens of factory set exclusive RCs, Willie Mays Stitches in Time AU
Other Notes:
  • One year after 2000 Fleer Tradition ushered in the retro era, 2001 Fleer Tradition was blown out of the water by Topps Heritage.
  • Design loosely based on '55 and '56 Topps.
  • Stitches in Time insert pays tribute to Negro League legends.
  • In lieu of releasing a proper Update set, Fleer instead chose to screw over set builders by issuing a factory set with 35 additional base set cards. Among those 35 extra cards: RCs of Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki and Mark Teixeira.
Full Set: $50 (NmMT)
Full Set (factory): $100 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 2000 Fleer Tradition

2000 Fleer Tradition

Base Set: 450 cards + 50 Glossy exclusive "Prospects"
Inserts:
  • Dividends: 15 cards (1:6)
  • Grasskickers: 15 cards (1:30)
  • Hall's Well: 15 cards (1:30)
  • Ripken Collection: 10 cards (1:30)
  • Ten-4: 10 cards (1:18)
  • Who to Watch: 15 cards (1:3)
Autogamers:
  • Fresh Ink: 37 Autographs (1:144, hobby exclusive)
  • Glossy Lumberjacks: 45 Bat Cards (one-per-Glossy Set, production varies from 30 to 809 copies)
Packaging: 36 pack, 10-card Hobby and retail waxboxes; Glossy factory sets.
Notable Cards: Ripken Collection inserts, Glossy Rookies.
Other Notes:
  • The product that single-handedly kicked off the "retro" themed craze of the 2000s.
  • Lauded as the best product of 2000.
  • Base set is a dead-ringer for 1954 Topps.
  • Cards printed on "shoebox gray" stock without any foil stamping or glossy coating.
  • 10,000 serial numbered "Glossy" factory sets produced. Each set included five of 50 Glossy exclusive Prospects (each card serial numbered to 1000) and a Lumberjack bat card.
  • Lumberjacks, the first game used element in Fleer/Fleer Tradition.
Full Set: $50 (NmMT)
Full Glossy Set (factory): $60 (NmMT)


2000 Fleer Tradition Update

Base Set: 149 cards
Autogamers: Mickey Mantle game jersey (1:80 sets)
Notable Cards: Johan Santana and Barry Zito RCs
Other Notes:
  • Card #50 (believed to be C.C. Sabathia) was pulled from the set after he was taken off the Indians 40-man roster.
Full Set (factory): $25 (NmMT)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Always Be Collecting: 1999 Fleer Tradition

1999 Fleer Tradition

Base Set: 600 cards (one series)
Parallels:
  • Warning Track (one-per-pack, retail exclusive)
  • Starting Nine (numbered to 9, Hobby exclusive)
Inserts:
  • Vintage '61: 50 cards (one-per-pack, Hobby exclusive)
  • Date with Destiny: 10 cards (numbered to 100)
  • Diamond Magic: 15 cards (1:96)
  • Going Yard!: 15 cards (1:18)
  • Golden Memories: 15 cards (1:54)
  • Stan Musial Monumental Moments: 10 cards (1:36)
  • Rookie Flashback: 15 cards (1:6)
Autogamers: Stan Musial Monumental Moments Autographed (limited to 500)

Packaging: 36 pack, 10-card waxboxes; Millennium Edition factory sets.
Notable Cards: Not much
Other Notes:
  • Return to a single series.
  • Vintage '61 inserts done in the style of the 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats set.
  • The "Millennium Edition," limited to 5000 sets, first factory set since 1992. Sold exclusively by Shop at Home.
Full Set: $60 (NmMT)
Full Millennium Edition Set (factory): $80 (NmMT)


1999 Fleer Tradition Update

Base Set: 150 cards
Packaging: factory set
Notable Cards: Josh Beckett and Alfonso Soriano RC. Only RC of Eric Gagne.
Other Notes:
  • First ten and last ten cards of '99 Fleer Tradition Update were included in the Millennium Edition factory set.
Full Set (factory): $25 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 1998 Fleer Tradition


1998 Fleer Tradition

Base Set: 600 cards (350 in the first series, 250 in the other)
  • Short Set: 535 cards (310 in the first series, 225 in the other)
  • Smoke 'n Heat: 10 cards (1:6, series one)
  • Golden Memories: 10 cards (1:6, series one)
  • Tale of the Tape: 20 cards (1:4, series one)
  • Unforgettable Moments: 25 cards (1:4, series two)
Inserts:
  • Vintage '63: 128 cards (one-per-pack Hobby pack; Classic '63: numbered to 63; cards #1-63 and a checklist in series one, #64-126 and a checklist in series two)
  • Diamond Standouts: 20 cards (1:12, series one)
  • Lumber Company: 15 cards (1:36, series one retail exclusive)
  • Power Game: 20 cards (1:36, series one)
  • Rookie Sensations: 20 cards (1:18, series one)
  • Zone: 15 cards (1:288, series one)
  • Decade of Excellence: 12 cards (1:72; Rare Tradition: 1:720, series two)
  • Diamond Tribute: 10 cards (1:300, series two)
  • In the Clutch: 15 cards (1:20, series two)
  • Mickey Mantle Monumental Moments: 10 cards (1:68; Gold: numbered to 51, series two)
  • Promising Forecast: 20 cards (1:12, series two)
Packaging: 36 pack, 12-card Hobby waxboxes, 20 pack, 10-card retail waxboxes.
Notable Cards: Mickey Mantle's first Fleer card, Maggilo Ordonez and Mike Lowell RCs.
Other Notes:
  • Fleer flagship brand renamed "Fleer Tradition."
  • Mickey Mantle's first Fleer card -- released three years after his death.
  • First short-printed base set cards.
  • One-per-pack "Diamond Ink" cards allowed collectors to save "points" and redeem them for autographed baseballs.
Full Set: $150 (NmMT)


1998 Fleer Tradition Update

Base Set: 100 cards (one series)
Packaging: factory set
Notable Cards: J.D. Drew and Troy Glaus RCs.
Other Notes:
  • First Fleer Update factory set since 1994.
Full Set (factory): $15 (NmMT)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Always Be Collecting: 1997 Fleer


1997 Fleer

Base Set: 761 cards (one series of 500 cards, the other of 261)
Parallels: Tiffany (1:20)
Inserts:
  • Golden Memories: 10 cards (1:16, series one)
  • Lumber Company: 18 cards (1:12, series one retail exclusive)
  • Night and Day: 10 cards (1:240, series one)
  • Rookie Sensations: 20 cards (1:6, series one)
  • Team Leaders: 28 cards (1:20, series one)
  • Zone: 20 cards (1:60, series one Hobby exclusive)
  • Bleacher Blasters: 10 cards (1:36, series two retail exclusive)
  • Decade of Excellence: 12 cards (1:36, series two Hobby exclusive; Rare Tradition parallel: 1:360, series two Hobby exclusive)
  • Diamond Tribute: 12 cards (1:288 series two)
  • Goudey Greats: 15 cards (1:8, series two; Foil parallel: 1:800, series two)
  • Headliners: 20 cards (1:2, series two)
  • Soaring Stars: 12 cards (1:12, series two)
Autogamers: Andruw Jones '97 Circa Autographed (numbered to 200 copies, series two)

Notable Cards: The aforementioned Andruw Jones AU, David "Arias" (Ortiz) RC
Other Notes:
  • Fleer Update replaced by a second series. However, the second series has most of '96 Fleer Update's traits, and that none of the packaging on series one boxes or wrappers mention it being part of a "first series."
  • At 761 cards, the largest Fleer base set ever produced.
  • Cards #751-761 were added late in the production run and are noticeably short-printed.
  • The return of team checklist cards.
  • Decade of Excellence inserts based on the design of 1987 Fleer.
  • Home to one of only two David Ortiz (a.k.a. David Arias) RCs -- the other being '97 Ultra.
Full Set: $140 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 1996 Fleer


1996 Fleer

Base Set: 600 cards (one series)
Parallels: Tiffany: 600 cards (one-per-pack)
Inserts:
  • Checklists: 10 cards (1:6)
  • Golden Memories: 10 cards (1:10)
  • Lumber Company: 12 cards (1:9, retail exclusive)
  • Postseason Glory: 5 cards (1:5)
  • Prospects: 10 cards (1:6)
  • Road Warriors: 10 cards (1:13)
  • Rookie Sensations: 15 cards (1:11)
  • Smoke 'n Heat: 10 cards (1:9)
  • Team Leaders: 28 cards (1:9, Hobby exclusive)
  • Tomorrow's Legends: 10 cards (1:13)
  • Zone: 12 cards (1:90)
Notable Cards: Mike Sweeney RC (big frickin' deal)
Other Notes:
  • After the visual disaster that was 1995 Fleer, '96 opted for a classic full-bleed look with a unique matte finish.
  • Wrappers changed to fin-sealed coated waxpaper.
  • First one-per-pack parallels.
  • Still an insert in each pack, and randomly seeded "Hot Packs."
Packaging: 36 pack, 11-card waxboxes.
Full Set: $80 (NmMT)


1996 Fleer Update

Base Set: 250 cards
Parallels: Tiffany (one-per-pack)
Inserts:
  • Diamond Tribute: 10 cards (1:100)
  • Headliners: 20 cards (1:20, retail exclusive)
  • New Horizons: 20 cards (1:5, Hobby exclusive)
  • Smooth Leather: 10 cards (1:5)
  • Soaring Stars: 10 cards (1:11)
Notable Cards: Tony Batista, Mike Cameron and Chris Singleton RCs were actually worth something.
Other Notes:
  • Encore subset consists of non-traded, non-rookie, superstars.
  • Diamond Tribute inserts are still worth something.
Packaging: 36 pack, 11-card waxboxes.
Full Set: $30 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 1995 Fleer

1995 Fleer

Base Set: 600 cards (one series)
Inserts:
  • All Fleer-9: 9 cards (complete set available via a wrapper redemption offer)
  • All Rookies: 9 cards (complete set available via a 1:150/pack redemption card)
  • All-Stars: 25 cards (1:3)
  • Award Winners: 6 cards (1:24)
  • League Leaders: 10 cards (1:12)
  • Lumber Company: 10 cards (1:24, retail wax exclusive)
  • Major League Prospects: 10 cards (1:6)
  • Pro-Visions: 6 cards (1:9)
  • Rookie Sensations: 20 cards (1:4, jumbo exclusive)
  • Team Leaders: 28 cards (1:24, Hobby wax exclusive)
Packaging: 36 pack, 12-card waxboxes (Hobby and retail); 24 pack, 18-card jumbo boxes.
Notable Cards: The whole base set is notable for its six different base set designs, all equally ugly.
  • In an effort to spur strike-induced flagging card sales, the marketing slogan for 1995 Fleer was "Different by Design."
  • Base set featured six different (and distinct) designs, one for each of baseball's six divisions.
  • Fronts ranged from mildly nauseating (AL West) to LSD flashback (AL Central) to epileptic seizure inducing (NL West).
  • Still an insert in every pack, with the debut of "Hot Packs" containing nothing but inserts.
Full Set: $50 (NmMT)


1995 Fleer Update

Base Set: 200 cards (one series)
Inserts:
  • Diamond Tribute: 10 cards (1:5)
  • Headliners: 20 cards (1:3)
  • Rookie Update: 10 cards (1:4)
  • Smooth Leather: 10 cards (1:5, jumbo exclusive)
  • Soaring Stars: 9 cards (1:36)
Packaging: 36 pack, 12-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 18-card jumbo boxes.
Notable cards: Hideo Nomo RC
Other Notes:
  • First Fleer Update set released in pack form.
  • Last Fleer jumbo pack product.
  • One of a bazillion late-1995 sets to feature a Hideo Nomo RC.
Full Set: $15 (NmMT)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Always Be Collecting: 1994 Fleer

1994 Fleer

Base Set: 720 (one series)
Inserts:
  • All-Rookies: 9 cards (complete set available via a 1:200/pack redemption card)
  • All-Stars: 50 cards (1:2, wax exclusive)
  • Award Winners: 6 cards (1:37)
  • Golden Memories: 10 cards (one-per-"Blue" pack; jumbo version numbered to 10,000)
  • League Leaders: 12 cards (1:17)
  • Lumber Company: 10 cards (1:5, jumbo exclusive)
  • Major League Prospects: 35 cards (1:6)
  • Pro-Visions: 9 cards (1:12)
  • Rookie Sensations: 20 cards (1:4, jumbo exclusive)
  • Tim Salmon: 15 cards (cards #1-12: 1:30; cards #13-15 available via a wrapper redemption offer)
  • Smoke 'n Heat: 12 cards (1:30)
  • Team Leaders: 28 cards (1:6)
Autogamers: Tim Salmon Autographed (total of 2500 cards)

Packaging: 36 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 21-card jumbo boxes; 24 pack, 23-card Wal-Mart exclusive "Blue" packs.
Notable Cards: Nolan Ryan Smoke 'n Heat, Pro-Visions set.
Other Notes:
  • Hands down, the greatest Fleer baseball set ever.
  • The Gold Standard of what a base-level baseball card product should be.
  • Classy and clean white-bordered set.
  • First year of UV coating on both sides of the card, and gold foil stamping on each card.
  • Over 200 inserts, each seeded at the rate of one-per-pack.
  • Complete Pro-Visions set forms a nine-card mosaic.
  • Debut of fin-sealed foil packaging.
Full Set: $50 (NmMT)


1994 Fleer Update

Base Set: 200 cards
Inserts:
  • Diamond Tribute: 10 cards
Notable Cards: Alex Rodriguez's second best RC (enough said).
Other Notes:
  • Last Fleer Update factory set for four years.
Full Set (factory): $50 (NmMT)

Always be Collecting: 1993 Fleer


1993 Fleer

Base Set: 720 cards (two series of 360 each)
Inserts:
  • Tom Glavine Career Highlights: 15 cards (cards 1-12 exclusive to all pack types, cards 13-15 available via a wrapper redemption offer)
  • All-Stars: 24 cards (12 National Leaguers exclusive to series one wax, 12 American Leaguers in series two wax)
  • Golden Moments: 6 cards (3 in series one wax, 3 in series two wax)
  • Major League Prospects: 36 cards (18 in series one wax, 18 in series two wax)
  • Pro-Visions: 6 cards (3 in series one wax, 3 in series two wax)
  • Rookie Sensations: 20 cards (10 cards in series one jumbos, 10 in series two jumbos)
  • Team Leaders: 20 cards (10 American Leaguers exclusive to series one racks, 10 National Leaguers exclusive to series two racks)
Autogamers: Tom Glavine Career Highlights Autographs

Packaging: 36 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 29-card jumbo boxes; 24 pack, 18-card retail-only rack boxes.
Notable Cards: Tom Glavine Career Highlights Autograph, Team Leader inserts
Other Notes:
  • First Fleer set released in multiple series.
  • First Fleer set with UV coating (on obverse).
  • Simple, silver-bordered design.
  • "Round Tripper" and "League Leader" subsets.
  • Last year for rack packs.
  • Speaking of which, here's a challenge: find an opened 1993 Fleer rack box. Go ahead, I dare you.
Full Set: $40 (NmMT)


1993 Fleer Final Edition

Base Set: 300 cards
Inserts:
  • Diamond Tribute: 10 cards
Notable Cards: Jim Edmonds RC, lots and lots of Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies.
Other Notes:
  • Renamed "Final Edition" for one year.
  • Largest Update/Final Edition set to date.
  • Features the complete Opening Day rosters of the Marlins and Rockies.
  • Card #F131 of Ozzie Smith who was curiously excluded from both series of '93 Fleer.
Full Set (factory): $10 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 1992 Fleer

1992 Fleer

Base Set: 720 cards (one series)


Inserts:
  • Roger Clemens Career Highlights: 15 cards (cards 1-12 exclusive to packs and Hobby factory sets, cards 13-15 available via a wrapper redemption offer)
  • All-Stars: 24 cards (wax exclusive)
  • Rookie Sensations: 20 cards (jumbo exclusive)
  • Team Leaders: 20 cards (rack exclusive)
  • Lumber Company: 9 cards (Hobby factory set exclusive)
  • Smoke 'n Heat: 12 cards (retail factory set exclusive)
Autogamers:
  • Roger Clemens Career Highlights Autographs
Packaging: 36 pack, 17-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 35-card jumbo boxes; 24 pack, 42-card rack boxes; Hobby and retail factory sets.
Notable Cards: Roger Clemens Autograph, Frank Thomas Rookie Sensation
Other Notes:
  • In an effort to "keep up with the Joneses," Fleer dramatically improved the quality of the cards using metallic inks on both sides of the card and a smoother card stock.
  • Design a reminder of pro sport's early-90s "teal craze."
  • Waxpaper wraps were replaced with poly-plastic.
  • Pack price increased to $1/waxpack.
  • Base sort arranged alphabetically by team with American League teams followed by the National League.
  • First autographed inserts.
  • First foil-stamped inserts.
  • Final year for factory sets.
  • Pro-Visions moved to the base set.
  • Jumbo exclusive Rookie Sensations kicked off the "insert mania" of the early-90s.
Full Set (factory): $20 (NmMT)


1992 Fleer Update

Base Set: 132 cards
Inserts:
  • '92 Headliners: 4 cards
Packaging: Hobby exclusive factory set.
Notable Cards: Mike Piazza and Jeff Kent RCs
Other Notes:
  • After years of overproduction and slow sales, '92 Fleer Update was printed to order.
  • Production estimated to be equal to that of the 1984 Fleer Update set (about 12,000 sets).
  • Iconic Mike Piazza RC.
  • Addition of the '92 Headliners "insert."
Full Set (factory): $60 (NmMT)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Always Be Collecting: 1991 Fleer



1991 Fleer

Base Set: 720 cards (one series)
Inserts:
  • Pro-Visions: 16 cards (12 "blacks" exclusive to wax and racks, four "whites" exclusive to factory sets)
  • All-Stars: 10 cards (exclusive to jumbos)
  • Box Bottoms: 9 cards
  • World Series: 8 cards (exclusive to factory sets)
Packaging: 36 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 30-card jumbo boxes; 24 pack, 53-card jumbo boxes; 24 pack, 42-card rack boxes; factory sets
Notable cards: Pro-Visions inserts.
Other notes:
  • Responsible for the "Great Yellow Printer Ink Shortage of '91."
  • Largest Fleer base set ever.
  • Full-color backs for the first time.
  • All-Star inserts are a dead ringer for the '71 Topps Greatest Moments set.
  • Pro-Visions are, and continue to be, "The Shit."
Full Set (factory): $10 (NmMT)


1991 Fleer Update

Base Set: 132 cards
Packaging: Hobby-exclusive factory set
Notable Cards: Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez RCs

Full Set (factory): $5 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 1990 Fleer


1990 Fleer

Base Set: 660 cards (one series)
Inserts:
  • All-Stars: 12 cards (wax and cello exclusive)
  • Soaring Stars: 12 cards (jumbo exclusive)
  • League Leaders: 6 cards (rack exclusive)
  • Box Bottoms: 28 cards
  • World Series: 12 cards (factory set exclusive)
Packaging: 36 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 33-card cello packs; 24 pack, 45-card rack boxes; 24 pack, 43-card jumbo boxes; factory sets
Notable cards: Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker, Juan Gonzalez and David Justice RCs, Decade Greats subset errors.
Other Notes:
  • One of the most (if not the most) overproduced baseball card sets ever.
  • Design recycled for the 2004 Fleer Tradition set.
  • First year for separate Hobby/retail factory sets.
  • Last year for cellophane-wrapped "cello" packs.
  • Debut of poly-wrapped "jumbo" packs.
  • Rare bilingual version sold in Canada.
Full Set (factory): $15 (NmMT)


1990 Fleer Update

Base Set: 132 cards
Packaging: Hobby exclusive factory set
Notable Cards: Frank Thomas and John Olerud RCs
Other Notes:
  • Unopened factory sets make a fine paperweight or door stop.

Full Set (factory): $4 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 1989 Fleer


1989 Fleer

Base Set: 660 cards (one series)
Inserts:
  • All-Stars: 12 cards (wax and cello exclusive)
  • For the Record: 6 cards (rack exclusive)
  • Box Bottoms: 28 cards
  • World Series: 12 cards (factory set exclusive)
Packaging: 36 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 36-card cello packs; 24 pack, 42-card rack boxes; factory set; Glossy Tin factory sets
Notable Cards: Ken Griffey, Jr. RC, Randy Johnson "Marlboro" RC, and of course, Billy Ripken "Fuck Face" ERR.
Other Notes:
  • The most infamous card of our time: The Billy Ripken "Fuck Face" card (and it's many variations).
  • Randy Johnson "Marlboro" variation not discovered for ten years.
  • Approximately 30,000 Glossy Tin sets produced.
  • Final year for Glossy Tin sets.
Full Set (factory): $15 (NmMT)
Full Glossy Set: $100 (NmMT)


1989 Fleer Update

Base Set: 132 cards
Packaging: Hobby exclusive factory set
Notable Cards: Nolan Ryan 5000 Strikeout and Mike Schmidt retirement cards, Joey (Albert) Belle and Deion Sanders RCs
Other Notes:
  • No Glossy Tin set produced.
  • Lackluster rookie card selection.
Full Set (factory): $5 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 1988 Fleer


1988 Fleer

Base Set: 660 cards (one series)
Inserts:
  • All-Stars: 12 cards (wax and cello exclusive)
  • Headliners: 6 cards (rack exclusive)
  • Box Bottoms: 16 cards
  • World Series: 12 cards (factory set exclusive)
Packaging: 36 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 28-card cello boxes; 24 pack, 45-card rack boxes; factory sets; glossy factory sets
Notable Cards: Tom Glavine, Edgar Martinez, Matt Williams and Mark Grace RCs, Tim Flannery with his surfboard.
Other Notes:
  • First Fleer set of the overproduction era.
  • Second-tier RCs of Ron Gant, Jack McDowell, Ellis Burks and Ken Caminiti.
  • Approximately 40,000-60,000 Glossy Tin sets produced.
Full Set (factory): $15 (NmMT)
Full Glossy Set: $25

1988 Fleer Update

Base Set: 132 cards
Packaging: Hobby exclusive factory and Glossy Tin factory sets.
Notable Cards: Roberto Alomar, Craig Biggio and John Smoltz XRCs
Other Notes:
  • Checklist arranged alphabetically by team.
  • Last year for Update Glossy Tin set.
  • Approximately 40,000-60,000 Glossy Tin sets produced.
Full Set (factory): $10 (NmMT)
Full Glossy Set: $25 (NmMT)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Always Be Collecting: 1987 Fleer



1987 Fleer

Base Set: 660 cards (one series)
Inserts:
  • All-Stars: 12 cards (wax and cello exclusive)
  • Headliners: 6 cards (rack exclusive)
  • Box Bottoms: 16 cards
  • World Series: 12 cards (factory set exclusive)
Packaging: 36 pack, 17-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 31-card cello boxes; 24 pack, 51-card rack boxes; factory sets; glossy factory sets
Notable Cards: Barry Bonds, Barry Larkin, and Bo Jackson RCs
Other Notes:
  • Arguably the best Fleer set of the 80s.
  • First factory-exclusive inserts.
  • First Glossy "Tin" factory set. In fact, your humble correspondent's father set the type for the 1987 Glossy Tin box.
  • Approximately 75,000-100,000 Glossy sets were produced.
Full Set (factory): $40 (NmMT)
Full Glossy Set: $80 (NmMT)

1987 Fleer Update
Base Set: 132 cards
Packaging: Hobby-exclusive factory set, and Glossy "Tin" set
Notable Cards: Mark McGwire, Greg Maddux XRC
Other Notes:
  • Approximately 75,000-100,000 Glossy Update sets were produced.

Full Set (factory): $12 (NmMT)
Full Glossy Set: $15 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 1986 Fleer


1986 Fleer

Base Set: 660 cards (one series)
Inserts:
  • All-Stars: 12 cards (wax and cello exclusive)
  • Then & Now: six cards (rack exclusive)
  • Box Bottoms: eight cards
Packaging: 36 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 27-card cello boxes; 24 pack, 42-card rack packs; 660 card factory sets
Notable Cards: Jose Canseco RC, Don Baylor "Ouch"
Other Notes:
  • First year for factory sets.
  • First insert sets as we know them.
Full Set (factory): $40

1986 Fleer Update

Base Set: 132 cards
Packaging: Hobby-exclusive factory set
Notable Cards: Barry Bonds, Will Clark and John Kruk XRCs

Full Set (factory):
$30

Video Box Break and Review: 2008 Topps Heritage Target Blaster

We interrupt this Fleer tribute to present a video Blaster box break of 2008 Topps Heritage.

Seven packs + one "Bonus Pack" per box; eight cards per pack. (Paid $19.97 + tax)



Base Set: 46 of 500
short set: 43 of 425
Short Prints: 3 of 75 (1:3) K. Gregg; Snell, Capps, Maholm, Gorzelany; Verlander All-Star
Variations
7 Black Backs: B. Lidge, P. LoDuca, B. Penny, C-L Hu RC, M. Cameron, A. Lind, R. Ankiel

Parallels
1 Chrome: J.J. Putz (1:15, numbered to 1959)

Inserts
1 New Age Performer: Ichiro (1:15)
1 Then & Now: Aparicio & Reyes (1:15)
4 T-205: C-H Hu, R. Howard, V. Guerrero, W. Balentien

Autogamers
NONE

Always Be Collecting: 1985 Fleer


1985 Fleer

Base Set: 660 cards (one series)
Packaging: 36 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 28 card cello boxes; 24 pack, 42 card rack packs; 500 card vending boxes.
Notable Cards: Roger Clemens RC, Kirby Puckett RC
Other Notes:
  • Debut of dual-player "Major League Prospect" cards.
  • Decent second-tier RC class (Eric Davis, Orel Hershiser, Bret Saberhagen).
  • For the first time since 1982, colored-coded borders.
Full Set: $60 (NmMT)

1985 Fleer Update

Base Set: 132 cards
Packaging: Hobby-exclusive factory set
Notable Cards: Darren Daulton XRC, Vince Coleman XRC, Ozzie Guillen XRC
Other Notes:
  • What more needs to be said about a set whose "best" XRC is of Darren Daulton?
  • Fleer should have saved those second-tier RCs for this set.
Full Set (Factory): $8 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 1984 Fleer


1984 Fleer

Base Set: 660 cards (one series)
Packaging: 36 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 28 card, 24 pack cello boxes; 24 pack "triple wax" rack packs; 500 card vending boxes.
Notable Cards: Don Mattingly RC, Darryl Strawberry RC, Glenn Hubbard with his "special friend"
Other Notes:
  • Another classic design.
  • Lots and lots of wacky photos (e.g. Glenn Hubbard, Jay Johnstone, and Larry McWilliams).
  • Waxboxes back down to 36 packs.
  • First "World Series" subset.
  • Checklists had photos of team managers.
  • Design of 2004 Fleer Platinum loosely based on '84 Fleer.
Full Set: $50 (NmMT)

1984 Fleer Update

Base Set: 132 cards
Packaging: Hobby-exclusive factory set
Notable Cards: Roger Clemens XRC, Kirby Puckett XRC, Dwight Gooden XRC, Pete Rose pictured as a Montreal Expo.
Other Notes:
  • One of the true "landmark" sets of the 80s.
  • Fleer's first Update set.
  • First Fleer factory set of any type.
  • First Fleer Hobby only product.
  • Printed-to-order. (Approximately 12,000 sets made.)
Full Set (factory): $300 (NmMT)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Always Be Collecting: 1983 Fleer


1983 Fleer

Base Set: 660 cards (one series)
Packaging: 38 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 28-card cello boxes; 24 pack "triple cello" rack boxes; 500-card vending boxes
Notable Cards: Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn and Ryne Sandberg RCs
Other Notes:
  • After the disaster of 1982, Fleer got their shit together for '83.
  • An increase in quality control, and a classic beige design.
  • Debut of the "Super Star Specials" subset.
  • Return of the 38-pack waxbox.
  • Debut of rack packs.
  • "Holy Trinity" of '83 rookies: Boggs, Sandberg and Gwynn.
Full Set: $60 (NmMT)

Always Be Collecting: 1982 Fleer


1982 Fleer

Base Set: 660 cards (one series)
Packaging: 36 pack, 15-card waxboxes; 24 pack, 28-card celloboxes; 500-count vending boxes
Notable Cards: Cal Ripken, Jr. RC, John Littlefield ERR, "All" Hrabosky ERR
Other Notes:
  • Arguably the worst Fleer baseball set of the 80s.
  • Just as many error cards as 1981, but with a dreadful design.
  • First card set with full-color backs -- beating Score by six years.
  • Debut of cello packs.
  • Waxboxes back down to 36 packs.
  • Team logo sticker replaced stick of gum.
  • Oh yeah, there's a Cal Ripken, Jr. rookie card.
Full Set: $50 (NmMT)