Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1991 Fleer Baseball Stickers

Fleer issued their final series of Baseball team logo stickers in 1991:

The 1991 Fleer Baseball stickers marked the end of a 25 year run of Fleer Baseball team patches / stickers that started in back in 1967 with their first release of cloth emblem patches:

1991 would be the last year that Fleer included Baseball stickers as inserts in packs:

Factory Sets:

and Update Sets:

Fleer marked the end of their run with the one thing that has distinguished so many of the Fleer sets over the years - VARIATIONS!

The 1991 Fleer Baseball sticker set is the king of the variation sets as every single sticker in the set has a variation. For some stickers the variations are fairly obvious, and for others you have to spend a little more time looking to find the differences.

For your viewing pleasure, here is the complete set of all the variations - see if you can spot the differences:

No one is sure why there are variations for each sticker. The one theory that makes the most sense is that Fleer had 2 different printing companies producing the stickers and each printed a slightly different sticker. I have yet to come across any 1991 uncut sticker sheets so I can't confirm if the differences can be found on the same sheet (in which case, the variations would have been intentional and not the result of different printers).

The backs of the stickers contain Top 10 lists for each team's batting and pitching career records:

With the insert craze starting to catch on in the early 1990s, presumably Fleer didn't see the need to keep including the stickers as inserts when they were creating a number of different other insert sets by 1992 as this pack shows:

Once insert cards became all the rage and each year's set had an ever increasing number of insert sets, it probably didn't make sense for Fleer to keep creating new team logo stickers every year.

After 25 years of producing team logo cloth patches, quiz cards, iron-ons, and stickers, (with the final 10 years having the stickers included as inserts with their annual baseball card sets), Fleer stopped producing team logo stickers after 1991.

Fleer did release one more baseball logo sticker set in 1991, but it was not associated with their base set. I'll cover that set in my next post.


Anonymous said...

If I had to guess, besides the altering of colors on a lot of them, I'd say the 1st run was the one with the bigger white outlines, smaller logos, off-colors and the white outlines were probably done by hand, while the later runs had the correct Braves logo, bigger logos and smooth, rounded precise white outlines around the logos and registered trademark symbols that were most likely done on a computer, since Photoshop does the same thing for outlines. Also I'd see teams with orange got more accurate in the later runs from being too red, tho they really screwed up that Mets logo outlining. I've never seen that gray shading on the Twins logo, and that was a very short-lived Padres logo with the gray in the rings & pinstripes.

Judging from my modest '91 collection, I have about an even spilt of variations.

Anonymous said...

Oh ya, forgot to add:

Correct outline width on "Braves", corrected tomahawk with proper outlines and lines
Missing Orioles black outlines restored
On the Reds logo, cap logo went from being black outlined & filled in red to correct white wishbone-C
Pirates logo wordmark got a darker shade of yellow & the headband went from gray to white
Rangers: wider inner white outline
Blue Jays: wider inner white outline in lettering

Unknown said...

hello I am looking for the red sox logo variations for this year. Does anyone know where i could find them? Thx. Mike.

Collector1 said...

I have the 4 sticker card with the Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Rangers, And Toronto Blue Jays logos. How Much would a nice eBay asking price be on those?