Wednesday, April 29, 2009

1974 Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches - Mutant Version!

All I can say is, what in the heck are these?

Take a closer look - the patches and the cards are panels - not individual stickers and cards. These came out of a pack that was recently opened by Fleer Sticker Project contributor Craig:

It appears that these are from 1974 given the inclusion of the Wildest Plays cards.

It looks like this was Fleer's attempt at a "jumbo" pack given the price on the wrapper of 25¢. The regular 1974 packs cost 10¢ (as seen on the top right hand corner of the box below) for 2 patches and a Wildest Plays card

so it looks like Fleer was trying to offer a pack with more patches and an additional Wildest Plays card. But that begs the question - why in the world Fleer would issue panels instead of just putting more individual patches and cards in a pack?

In addition to the 2 panels of 2 patches each and the panel of 2 Wildest Plays cards, there was also one individual patch in the pack as well for a total of 5 team patches for 25¢. Why go to the trouble of cutting the sheets into 2 patch panels, especially if you are also putting single patches in the pack? Why not just cut the sheets up into individual cards & patches like normal, and just put more patches and cards in the pack. Very bizarre.

If these had shown up in the standard 1974 wrapper I would have figured this was just some kind of crazy freak accident at the factory where some cards got miscut and ended up getting put in packs, but since these came inside a unique wrapper (that neither Criag nor I had ever seen before), I'm guessing this design was intentional.

As this pack is the only time I've ever seen this wrapper, I'm wondering if this might have been a test issue. One thing I can confirm - the panels match up with the uncut sheet. The A's/Astros panel and Cardinals/Braves panels are outlined in the picture below. The other single patch that was included in the pack was the Rangers cap patch (seen in the bottom left corner of the sheet).

Thanks to Craig for opening this pack and sharing what he found inside!

Monday, April 20, 2009

1987 Fleer Classic Mini Cards & Stickers

Fleer returned in 1987 with their 2nd Baseball Classic Miniatures set which once again featured that year's card design with different photos than those that appeared on the standard sized cards:

The team logo sticker set is identical to the 1986 set with both the red & white striped border design and the yellow stars against a blue background design with the exception of 3 teams which changed their logos from 1986 to 1987:

Other than the differences in the Reds, Twins, and Mariners stickers due to the logo changes, the remaining teams have identical stickers in both sets.

Taking a look at the sticker inserts from the 1986 and 1987 baseball card sets, we can see these same logo changes from 1986 (yellow border) to 1987 (blue border):

Monday, April 13, 2009

1987 Fleer Baseball Stickers

Fleer came up with new designs for the 1987 Baseball stickers that were once again included as inserts in all of Fleer's various 1987 products:

The stickers featured team logos, but this time the team logo was placed over a baseball on a trophy stand:

The other design in the set is a "2 on 1" sticker with 2 team logos sharing the sticker, along with 4 red and white strips with the team names:

The backs of the stickers featured team logos as well:

As mentioned, the stickers were inserts in 1987 wax packs:

1987 saw the debut of the Fleer Glossy parallel set which came in a special tin, and included 66 stickers:

Of course, the stickers were also included in the 1987 update set

as well as the Glossy Update in the special tin:

The stickers were also inserts in the annual Star Stickers set:

And don't forget those ever popular boxed sets which were getting out of hand by this point (1987 saw 9 different sets!):

If you couldn't find any Fleer stickers in 1987, you just weren't trying!

Friday, April 3, 2009

1986 Fleer Classic Mini Cards & Stickers

In 1986 Fleer issued its first miniature card set which contained 120 cards with the same design as the regular 1986 set, but with a smaller card size and different photos:

The cards were sold as boxed sets:

While the boxes contained a complete set of 120 cards, they did not contain a complete set of stickers. With only 18 stickers in the box there was no way to get all 26 teams unless you bought multiple boxes. To make things even more challenging, there are 2 different sticker designs for each team, making a total of 52 different stickers to have a full master set.

That would mean at a minimum, you would need to buy 3 boxed sets just to have a shot at the full set of team stickers. In reality, it takes many more given the duplication that you inevitably run into.

One of the designs has a blue top portion with a red and white striped border around the team logos:

The other design has a red top with a blue background and yellow stars bordering the logos:

The boxes I've opened have either one design or the other, but not both designs mixed together in the same box.

The mini sets never proved to be very popular, but Fleer issued sets in 1987 and 1988 as well which we'll get to shortly.