A piece of art in every pack?

26 06 2008

In my rookie season at Wax Heaven I wrote a short, little piece about the best-designed set of the 90’s, in my opinion. Now, it’s not often art and baseball gets together (unless you are the immortal Dick Perez) but in this case this is exactly what happened. The year was 1997 and Fleer was looking to make some waves in the hobby. After all, one of their competitors had put out the first-ever “Autograph per pack”, in Donruss Signatures and Upper Deck was continuing to stun collectors and observers with their innovative SPx holograms.

Fleer’s response is a perfect example of “thinking outside the box”. It was essentially, tiny pieces of art in every single pack. Check out this Astros’ Jeff Bagwell selling on eBay for a mere $5. Even more shocking is this Cal Ripken Jr. with the overcast sky behind him with no bids and a starting price of one penny. Perhaps the storm clouds were an ominous sign that next time you pulled a Ripken Jr. baseball card the amazing consecutive games streak would have come to an end.

Unfortunately, lightning never strikes twice and next seasons’s E-X line was a complete mess. By 1999, it was clear they had completely lost their way. Still, you will always have the memory of busting packs of 1997 ‘E-X 2000’ for the very first time. It was without a doubt, the greatest five packs of baseball cards I have ever opened.

Unfortunately, with the death of Fleer baseball, we have probably seen the very last of a company who truly created a “Masterpiece” for every single collector. Goodbye Fleer. Thanks for all the memories.

1997 FLEER EX 2000


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8 responses

26 06 2008
Gellman

Pieces of art? I have to disagree. Just because they throw a sky in there does not make it worthy of a description like that, in my opinion. I would say they are nice cards, but I wouldnt put them even close to the top in terms of best looking set.

26 06 2008
Charlie

I’ve gotta go with Gellman on this one. I think there are much nicer looking sets out there. 91 and 92 Stadium Club being near the top🙂

26 06 2008
JBob

91 Stadium Club had so many f-ing printing errors in it! I have several cards where the gold foil is offset and the names and the black behind it look like poop.

26 06 2008
Hoiles

Yeah, these look like prototypical over-designed 90’s cards… I thought the simplistic 94 Fleer was the nicest looking.

26 06 2008
26 06 2008
Hoiles

Those pics don’t do the beauty of 1994 Fleer justice🙂
Though I will give you the benefit of the doubt on the 97 Ex set, if only because I don’t actually have any of those cards as I was long out of the hobby at that point.

26 06 2008
Dave

Now that Upper Deck owns the Fleer brand, maybe you can start an online petition type thing to ask them to bring back E-X, like the one out there that is asking Topps to bring back Stadium Club…

27 06 2008
JBob

now that we know Topps fird its only photographer i think we can say that Stadium Club is dead.

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