Friday, April 30, 2010

Now Upper Deck, the Washington Nationals, and the Oakland A's Are Stopping By

It looks like my previous post on The Fleer Sticker Project getting a hit from The Office of The Commissioner of Baseball attracted some high profile readers today:

Someone from Upper Deck checked in (via bdj610scblogroll) to see what was up with The Commissioner:

as did somebody with the Washington Nationals (who also enjoy reading the great Sportscardsuncensored):

As a bonus, someone from the Oakland A's also stopped by to check out their Fleer cloth patches!

Two baseball teams and a card company reading the blog today. Not too shabby!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Office of The Commissioner of Baseball has been checking on me!

Imagine my surprise when I spotted this entry while checking the recent activity on my blog (click to enlarge):

It looks like someone from the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball stopped by to check out my post on the NFL Illustrated logo variation!

Whatever research this person was doing for the Commissioner, I hope they were able to find some useful information! I wonder why they were doing research on the NFL logo.....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

1972 Fleer Baseball Quiz Card Variations

In response to my review of the 1972 Fleer Baseball Quiz Cards where I had indicated there were a number of different sets of questions, Fleer Sticker Project contributor Troy sent me pictures of the 29 different cards that he has been able to find. In addition to the 29 that Troy found, I had 1 variation that Troy did not have which brings the total to at least 30 different quiz cards.

The quiz cards that have the Orioles in the bottom left corner appear to have the most variations, with 13 different sets of questions (click on the picture for a larger view):

As you can see with these cards, in some cases the first question is the same on 2 different cards, but if you check the 2nd question, you will see that they don't match up, so you need to look at more than just the first question when looking for variations.

There are at least 8 different cards with the Red Sox logo in the bottom left corner:

In some cases cards can be found with the exact same set of questions, but with different sets of team logos. This card from the group of 8 cards pictured above starting with the RedSox logo has the exact same set of questions as one of the cards starting with the Orioles logo:

Finally, there are at least 9 different cards that have the Royals in the bottom left:

For whatever reason, Fleer did not include logos of the Braves, Angels, Brewers, Mets, Phillies, or Rangers on any of these quiz cards (yet the Reds and Cubs appear on 2 of the 3 versions of logos).

Fleer initially printed some of the quiz cards without the team logos and without a yellow background for the questions:

As you can see, the questions on the all white quiz cards match up to the version with the yellow background and team insignias. The all white version is much less common.

Thanks to Troy for sharing his collection and helping give an idea of approximately how many different 1972 Fleer quiz card variations exist. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few others that neither Troy nor I have found yet, so there may well be more than 30 (not counting the all white card variations).

If you happen to have a variation not pictured, please let me know, and I'll be glad to add it to this post.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Look at SCD Coverage of Fleer's 1977 - 1979 Grand Slam Hi-Gloss Stickers From The Troy Files

Fleer Sticker Project contributor Troy sent me copies of reviews that were done in Sports Collectors Digest (SCD) back in the late 1970s for each of the 3 Fleer Hi-Gloss Grand Slam Sticker sets that were released in 1977, 1978, and 1979:

Lets take a look at each year's SCD review (click on the article to see a larger view):


1977 was the first year Fleer issued glossy baseball stickers after their 8 year run of cloth patches. As the article explains, there were border color variations for each team's logo sticker, with some teams having 3 border color variations of white, blue and yellow:

and other teams having a variation of white and pink:

Each team also had a cap monogram / team name sticker (except for the expansion Blue Jays and Mariners):

The article indicates there are 95 different stickers counting the border variations, which is the same conclusion I came to when I previously reviewed this set a few years ago, so I'm glad to see that we both agree on that figure.

The one bit of new information contained in this article is that packs contained 5 glossy stickers AND "1 of the cloth-type baseball patches originally issued with the 1975 Fleer Pioneers of Baseball set". I've never opened a pack of 1977 stickers, so I was not aware that cloth patches were apparently being included with the glossy stickers as well. There is no mention of cloth patches on the wrapper or the box, so this is the first I've heard of this.


The 1978 review indicates that the cap monogram / team name stickers had been added for the Mariners and Blue Jays

which therefore increased the total set size including all border variations to 97, which again matches what I had calculated when I previously reviewed the 1978 set.

The article also mentions the fact that there is a World Series puzzle on the back of the stickers this year which has been indicated on the fronts of many of the stickers as well (the 1978 sticker with the mention of the puzzle is on the top compared to the 1977 sticker below it):

Here is look at the completed puzzle:

As the article points out, its not easy putting together the puzzle as it requires 66 different backs.

The article lists all the changes that were made to the stickers from 1977 to 1978, and also mentions that there were 2 wrapper variations - one with AL teams and another with NL teams:

The thing I find interesting about the article is the last sentence on the first page where the writer is willing to offer up a set of nearly all the variations for 2 1977 Burger King Lou Piniella cards:

This was a very hot card back in the late 70's as it was originally not included in the 1977 Burger King Yankees set. Legend has it George Steinbrenner was not happy Lou was left out of the set, so cards were made towards the end of the promotion so he could be included, but they ended up being in much shorter supply than the rest of the team.

For the full story, check out Dave's excellent article about the card at The Topps Archives.


The 1979 stickers are nearly identical to their 1978 counterparts, with a few exceptions:

The writer for the 1979 review really takes puzzle back variations seriously! You have to remember that back in 1979 there was only the regular Topps set to collect, so collectors had lots of time on their hands to ponder things like how many different puzzle back variations there were for each sticker since they weren't trying to keep up with new releases every week or two.

As the writer points out, with the 1978 puzzle being 66 cards, the uncut 1978 sheet would consist of 2 puzzles on the back which would take care of the entire 132 card sheet, meaning each sticker could only have 2 back variations.

Since the 1979 puzzle was reduced to 30 cards, a 132 card sheet could hold 4 puzzles plus 12 additional cards. Here is a look at a section of a full sheet where the full puzzle has been cut out as a partial sheet

along with the corresponding stickers on the front:

Since the puzzle was repeated 4 times on the back of the sheet, most puzzle pieces can be found with 4 different stickers on the front, with a few having 6 different stickers (for those 12 additional puzzle pieces).

I really enjoy collecting Fleer variations, but I've had to draw the line at puzzle back variations. I find them interesting in terms of trying to better understand how the uncut sheets were arranged, but I've avoided trying to complete full master sets with all possible puzzle back variations as it was enough of a challenge just to try to get all the colored border variations. As the writer of this article says, he's ready for a padded cell after trying to figure out all the various sticker / puzzle back variations.

To wrap up 1979, here is the pack and the box for the stickers:

Many thanks to Troy for another great set of articles that give a sense of what collectors were thinking about these sets when they were initially released.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Busting 41 Year Old Wax ! - Opening a Pack of 1969 Fleer Pennants & Stamps

I recently picked up an unopened pack of 1969 Fleer Pennants & Stamps:

Based on the article we recently reviewed from The Troy Files from the July 1969 issue of Ballcard Collector :

this pack should contain "a sheet of stickers (3 x 9 1/2") perforated with about 10 diff. team emblems on it...Also in each pack is a card measuring 2 1/4 x 4" with a baseball team quiz and a team emblem (in color)".

Thanks to Fleer collector and expert Barry I was able to acquire a pack which I decided would be much more fun to open than keep unopened (and always wonder what was to found inside).

Here is what I found when I opened the pack:

The gum had not stayed in one piece for all of its 41 years, as a few pieces were stuck to the inside of the wrapper

while most of the rest of the gum was stuck to the stamp sheet:

Since the sheet has a glue backing for the stamps, its not surprising that most of the gum ended up being stuck to the stamp sheet.

Unfolding the sheet, I discovered I had gotten a Pirates pennant, along with a number of other team logos, including the classic Astros logo and an Orioles cap (click on the picture for a larger image):

With a little work, I was able to get the gum off the back of the sheet, and fortunately the sheet didn't suffer too much paper damage:

There was a quiz card in the pack, which confirms that the 1969 quiz cards had 3 questions, and had the smaller logo (relative to the 1971 cards which also have 3 cards, but have a logo that extends all the way out to the edges of the border):

I'm very pleased with this pack as I'd gotten a sheet that I had not seen a picture of before, got a Twins quiz card that was an upgrade from the miscut one that I had in my collection, and also got a nice clean copy of the wrapper:

Thanks for the pack Barry!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Randy's Excellent Cardinal Contributions!

I recently received a number of scans from The Fleer Sticker Project's newest contributor - Randy Trierweiler. Randy is a dedicated Cardinals collector has been kind enough to share some great images to compliment some of the sets that we've previously covered.

The first item I'd like to show is the gorgeous 1955 Post Cereal Cardinals patch:

In addition to the patch, Randy has the mailing envelope that the patches came in:

I really like the fact that the back of the envelope shows all the team logos / patches - this is a great collectible itself:

Randy also has some examples of the 1968 Fleer Baseball Emblem "trio" stickers which were stickers that contained 3 patches with team names that were included along with the larger patches that contained team logos. When I originally did my post on the 1968 Baseball Emblem set, I did not have any examples of these trio stickers, but now I do thanks to Randy:

And finally, for a really unusual Fleer item, Randy has a scan of the rarely seen Cardinals logo that was briefly used in the mid-1970s that was issued as a Fleer iron-on in 1976:

The back of the pack shows the logo

but now we've got a scan of the actual iron on itself (which is an item I never thought I'd see)!

I'd like to say thanks to Randy for taking the time to scan and send these pictures as they are great additions to the blog. I will be going back to the appropriate posts and updating them with these images as well.