Friday, August 29, 2008

1985 Fleer Baseball Star Stickers

Once again Fleer went with small stickers for their annual Star Sticker set in 1985:

The stickers were sold in packs of 6, and also included 1 team logo sticker:

The team stickers are the same logo and cap stickers that were issued with the 1985 Fleer Baseball Card set. Here's a picture of Tom Seaver's sticker beside the White Sox jersey sticker to give an idea of the size of the Star Stickers:

Just like the 1984 Star Sticker Set, there was an album for the stickers, which was arranged by leaders of various statistical categories. Two pages were also included for the team logo stickers.

As the front and the back of the album mention, there was a subset series of "Stop Action" photos showing a player in action over a series of 6 photos. Eddie Murray was shown batting, Mike Schmidt was shown fielding, and Tom Seaver was shown pitching.

Here is the sequence of the Eddie Murray "Stop Action" photos:

The albums also included a set of 3 team logo stickers on a perforated strip that was inserted in the album. Here are a few examples:

Thanks to the back of the sticker album, I now know why I've got this thing about collecting and blogging about Fleer Stickers - its because they're "colorful and fun to collect!":

Now it all makes sense. Thanks for helping explain the reason for my condition Fleer!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

1985 Fleer Baseball Stickers

The 1985 set was in some ways a significant departure from the designs of the previous 2 years, but in other ways, it was very similar to the 1983 and 1984 Baseball Sticker sets.

The differences are obvious: team jersey /uniform stickers have replaced the cap stickers:

and the rainbow borders have been replaced by yellow borders for the jersey stickers and blue borders for the logo stickers:

However, if you take a closer look at the stickers, you will see that all of the "PEEL" variations that we found in the 1983 & 1984 sets are once again present in the 1985 set. In addition, some other minor variations which I didn't cover in my previous reviews show up again in 1985.

There are some very subtle differences found on the Cardinals and Giants stickers which I didn't bother mentioning in the 1983 & 1984 reviews because I had already covered the fact that both teams had rainbow border variations. Those same subtle differences are found in the 1985 set as well.

The Cardinals variation is found on the baseball seam just to the left of the Cardinal. On some stickers the seam is thin, just like on the the rest of the baseball, but on others, the seam is thicker, and is black instead of red.

The Giants variation has to do with the position of the TM. It can be found either lined up under the "FL" in the Fleer logo or lined up under the "EE" in Fleer. The picture below shows the variations are present in both the 1983/1984 sets as well as the 1985 set.
It would appear that Fleer used the same 11 x 12 sheet of 132 stickers, and changed the cap stickers to jersey stickers and changed the border colors, but left the logo stickers including the PEEL arrows and TMs exactly as they were for 1983 - 1984. This would be the most reasonable explanation of why all the logo varations can be found once again in 1985.

There are also 2 uniform sticker variations. Both the Red Sox and Astros jersey stickers can be found with and without the city names on the pennants under the jerseys:

And just to make variation collecting even more fun, Fleer issued 3 different backs!

The most common back has a contest form on the back, a less common back has the same contest form, but in a bigger font, and finally, the least common back is blank:

Since its been over 20 years since I've opened any 1985 Fleer product, I can't say for sure whether or not a particular back was found in a certain release.

Here is the complete 1985 Fleer Baseball Sticker set with all the variations (except for the Red Sox jersey and Yankees PEEL variations I'm still trying to track down):

The stickers were once again inserts in 1985 Fleer Baseball Card set, as well as were included with the 1985 update set:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Has Anybody Seen These Cloth Patches Before?

One of the best things that has happened as a result of starting this blog is communicating with the people who contact me after reading the blog. I really enjoy hearing from the people who e-mail me with questions about items that they have in their collection.

Usually I get questions about Fleer items, and sometimes I get questions about team logo items which I am able to share some insight on.

However, I've received a request that has me stumped. Tina sent a note asking if I could help identify some cloth patches with Baseball logos, and I'm afraid I've never seen them before:

Given the fact that the Blue Jays are included (who joined the American League in 1977) and looking at A's logo (which was used through 1982), I'm guessing that these are from the late 1970s to early 1980s, but beyond that, I don't know anything else about these patches.

I thought I'd post the picture to see if any readers have come across these patches before, and if so, I'd really appreciate any information that anyone could share. Thanks!

Monday, August 18, 2008

1984 Fleer Baseball Star Stickers

Fleer once again issued Star Stickers in 1984, and as in 1983, the stickers were smaller than the standard baseball card size:

However, unlike 1983, the stickers were issued individually instead of in strips. Team logo stickers were also included in the packs.

The team stickers are the same logo and cap stickers that were issued with the 1984 Fleer Baseball Card set. Here's a picture of Eddie Murray's sticker beside the Orioles cap sticker to give an idea of the size of the Star Stickers:

Fleer issued a sticker album which was similar to the albums that Topps had been releasing with their sticker sets since 1981.

The album is arranged by statistical leaders instead of by team, so many stars appear multiple times in the set depending on how well they performed in 1983. There are also pages for the team logo stickers. There is even a page for using the cap stickers to predict the 1984 Division Champions as well as the ALCS, NLCS and World Series winners:

Monday, August 11, 2008

1983 Fleer Baseball Sticker Uncut Sheet

As part of trying to determine what variations existed with the 1983 and 1984 Fleer Baseball stickers, I was able to find all the answers I was looking for by studying an uncut sheet (click on the picture to see a larger image):

If you'll recall, there are 2 types of sticker variations for 1983 & 1984: 1) Stickers with border color variations (with either green or red on the left and the opposite color on the right)

and 2) Stickers with the "PEEL" instructions facing different directions or being in different locations:

Looking at the uncut sheet, it was easy to see how the border color variations occurred:

The 3 caps (Cubs, Phillies & Rangers) and the 7 logos (Mets, Cardinals, Giants, Braves, Reds, Pirates, and Twins) are all grouped together on the sheets, and based on their placement, end up with a different rainbow pattern than what their corresponding caps/logos have on different parts of the sheet as shown by the lines I've drawn matching up the caps & logos.

As for the "PEEL" variations, they are all found on the logo stickers on the bottom right hand portion of the sheet for the logos which are printed on the sheet 3 times instead of 2.

For some reason, Fleer gave these triple printed stickers in this section of the sheet different "PEEL" directions.

It appears that Fleer used the same sheet for 1984 as they did for 1983 except for the changes to the Astros cap and the Rangers logo that I previously mentioned

as all of the border and "PEEL" variations can be found in both sets.

Thanks to the uncut sheet, its possible to understand why the border variations exist as we can see it is due to the way some team logos end up on different parts of the sheet with an alternate border pattern. Although it doesn't explain why Fleer went to the trouble to change the "PEEL" directions for some teams, at least the uncut sheet shows that it was only the logo stickers that were printed 3 times are the ones with this odd variation.

Friday, August 8, 2008

1984 Fleer Baseball Stickers and the Year in Review

The 1984 Fleer Baseball stickers were identical to the 1983 set except for the backs.

The 1984 backs are red (whereas the 1983 sticker backs were blue), and contain team stats from the 1983 season. Here are the backs of the 1983 World Series Champion Orioles:

The backs of the cap stickers have the Home & Away stats, while the logo stickers have the Season Total stats.

There were only 2 teams that had changes in their stickers from 1983 to 1984. The Astros cap changed from orange to dark blue, and the Rangers logo design changed slightly:

The exact same border and "PEEL" variations that I described in the 1983 set are present in the 1984 set as well.

The stickers were inserted in packs of 1984 Fleer Baseball cards:

The 1984 set was Fleer's best to date, with a clean design and much better photography than had been used in previous years. The hot cards that everyone was trying to find were the Don Mattingly and Darryl Strawberry rookie cards:

Donruss also released their best set up to that point, and printed it in much lower quantities than what they had produced in previous years, making it an instant classic.

The 1984 Topps set was not a bad effort either:

As part of my flashback to 1984, here is the catalog from Renata Galasso where I purchased all my sets that year:

You can see from the ads above, that Topps was still the big kid on the block as they have a full page and Fleer and Donruss have to share a page.

I will always be grateful for a letter I received in the mail from Renata Galasso in the summer of 1984:

Down at the bottom is an offer to buy the 1984 Fleer Update set for $7.99! The 1984 Fleer Update set was the first time Fleer had decided to copy the practice that Topps had started in 1981 with putting out a boxed set of cards later in the year showing players who had been traded and rookies that had made it to the big leagues:

Fortunately I took Renata up of this offer, but regrettably I only bought 1 set (and not a few cases!). For those of you who don't remember what collecting was like before the internet or before Beckett (which didn't issue its first monthly guide until November 1984)

getting updates in the mail like this was how most of us found out about new releases that were coming out.

Thanks to Renata, I was able to buy my 1984 Fleer Update set (which also came with Fleer Baseball Stickers!), and picked up a few nice rookie cards of guys named Kirby Puckett and Roger Clemens:

Looking back almost 25 years ago, I'd have to say 1984 was one of the best years I can remember for being a baseball card collector. We had 3 great sets as all three companies delivered nice looking products, and had a great group of rookie cards which really got people excited about the hobby. By the end of the year, we had the first Beckett Monthly price guide to help us start keeping up with the hobby that was starting to explode!