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!

No comments: