Friday, August 28, 2009

2001 Topps Opening Day Stickers

Topps issued their first Baseball team logo sticker set in 2001 when they inserted team logo stickers in packs of their 2001 Opening Day set.

The nice thing about this set is that it includes all 30 teams (something Fleer never was able to do since they stopped producing stickers before the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays joined the league). The one exception is that the set was done before the Expos moved to Washington, DC to become the Nationals, so unfortunately there is not a sticker set that has all 30 teams as they exist today (Topps - are you listening?)

Here is a look at the complete set:

Given how long Topps has been producing Baseball cards, its interesting that it wasn't until 2001 that they finally issued team stickers.

Prior to this release, Topps had issued team logos on stamps in 1962:

and on rub-offs in 1966:

The only Baseball team sticker release Topps had done prior to 2001 was a test issue called Action Emblems that hadn't even included team logos in 1973/1974:

The above image comes courtesy of great The Topps Archive blog which provides very interesting insight into this test issue. These were done at a time when Topps was having issues with MLB's licensing fees and trying to see if they could market products without logos. The interesting thing about this release is that the design is nearly identical to the 1973-74 Basketball Stickers:

While the idea of team stickers without team logos never caught on (for obvious reasons), at least the design was able to be put to good use. Its just too bad Topps wasn't able to do a set similar to the Basketball set for Baseball at the time which actually used team logos and could have been done as inserts.

I guess Topps really didn't see Fleer as much of a threat at the time with their cloth logo stickers since Topps could have inserted Baseball stickers in their products as a way to discourage kids from buying Fleer packs. If kids could get stickers of their favorite teams along with cards of their favorite players in the same Topps pack, why would kids even consider buying the Fleer stickers. Perhaps the agreement Fleer had with MLB Properties gave them exclusive rights to issue team logo stickers so Topps might not have been able to do this even if they had wanted to.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

1988 - 1993 Panini Baseball Logo Stickers

Even though I've finished up my review of Fleer's baseball stickers, I've still got a few other team logo sticker sets yet to cover. Since I just finished reviewing Fleer's last logo sticker sets which were issue in conjunction with Panini back in 1995 & 1996, I thought I'd go back and cover the earlier Panini sets from 1988 through 1993 which also contained team logo stickers (but did not have any involvement from Fleer).

The Panini sticker sets each year consisted of player stickers as well as a sticker album. Team logo stickers were part of the set, and were foil stickers (as opposed to the player stickers which were not).


Panini's first baseball issue included a team logo sticker, a uniform sticker, and a cap emblem / team pennant sticker:


Once again there were 3 different team stickers, but this time there was a logo sticker, a team name, and a stadium sticker:


There were 2 team stickers in 1990 - a logo sticker and a batting helmet sticker. In addition, the winning teams from the 1980 through the 1988 World Series had a World Series Ring sticker. Presumably the design for the 1989 ring wasn't yet ready when the 1990 set went to press, so the 1989 World Champion A's are represented by the World Series trophy instead.


There were 3 different Panini sets in 1991. The regular issue which containted a team logo sticker as well as stickers with 2 team pennants:

A Canadian set (which unfortunately I do not have any scans to show), and another Canadian set entitled "Top 15" which showcased top statistical performers from the previous season. The team stickers in this set honor teams that led in various statistical categories, so not all team logos are represented in this set. As these are Canadian, the text is in both English and French:


Panini used a glitter foil effect for the team logo stickers in 1992:


Panini used a gold foil background for the 1993 logo stickers, and also included uniforms on the 2 new expansion teams from that season (the Rockies and the Marlins):


Panini issued a sticker set in 1994, but there were no team logo stickers.


As I previously reviewed, Panini issued the 1995 set in conjunction with Fleer which once again contained team logos (but dropped the foil background):


And they once again teamed up with Fleer in 1996 (and brought back the foil):

1996 was the last baseball sticker set that Panini issued in the US. They issued baseball sticker sets in Venezuela in 1997 and 1998, although it does not appear that team logo stickers were included in those sets.

Monday, August 10, 2009

1995 & 1996 Fleer Panini Baseball Stickers - Coming Full Circle

Fleer had one more series of Baseball team logo stickers which they released a few years after their final set of insert stickers in 1991. Fleer partnered with Panini in 1995 and 1996 to release Baseball Album stickers which included team logo stickers.

The 1995 stickers have logos against a white background with a colored border:

while the 1996 release has a similar design, but is on a silver foil sticker:

The stickers were not inserts, but were part of the regular set.

You may be thinking that the design of these stickers look familiar.....and you'd be right:

Fleer came full circle with these sticker sets and returned with a design and sticker size that was almost identical to their very first Baseball decals that they released back in 1960, 1961 & 1962.

Just for fun, here is a look at Fleer's very first Baseball logo decals from 1960:

and 1961/62:

What a perfect set of bookends to start and finish the 30+ years of Fleer Baseball decals/patches/quiz cards/iron ons/stickers with 2 sets of stickers in the mid 1990's that so closely resemble the very first decal sets from the early 1960's.

Its interesting taking a look at which teams have undergone significant logo changes during this time, and which seem to hardly have changed at all. The other thing you can appreciate in comparing the sets is how many more teams joined the league since the first set was released in 1960 as MLB had grown from 16 teams in 1960 to 28 teams by 1996 (with 2 more teams joining a few years later in 1998).

This wraps up the review of Fleer Baseball Stickers as we've now finished looking at every baseball sticker set that Fleer released. I'll be picking up where I left off with the Fleer Football sticker review as we get closer to Football season, but I've still got a few baseball related items to review, so stay tuned!