Saturday, June 28, 2014

2003 Fleer Tradition Set Review

My origins in card collecting started as a set collector.  I have every Donruss set that was released with the exception of the 2014 set (I am working on it).  I have every Upper Deck set other than 1998.  I have quite a few Topps sets (1959-60, 1974-present) and I am working on 1970-73.  Fleer is the brand with the most gaps and I recently filled one with a Sportlot auction win.  My goal is to get a run of all these brands and I have considered going after Score once done here. 

Fleer did some odd things for a few years where they didn't have a "Fleer" set and only issued a "Fleer Tradition" set and 2003 was one of those years.  This set cost me $42 but included quite a few extras.  This isn't a set I was very familiar with so going through it was fun.  I thought I would share the set and the extras I received.

This is a 485 card set and I thought I would show a sampling of the different cards.

These are the regular base cards and they can be found in numbers 101-416.  This is a sampling of the kind of photography that is typical in the set. I think the photography is solid.  The design is a spin off of 1963 Fleer and my favorite feature is the yellow diamond with the illustration of the drawing.  These illustrations vary based on the position of the player and the pitchers change base on what arm they throw with.  I also shared the back of a card, pretty nice looking and similar to 1963 Fleer.

One of my favorite aspects of this set are the inclusion of 19 "Missing Link" cards.  These are players that were active in 1963 but not included in Fleer's release.  I am showing you all but one card, Luis Aparicio.  I have always been fond of the McCovey photo, it is quite unique.  These cards are numbered 67-85.  These cards were short printed, 1 per pack.  Additionally the rest of the cards in the 1-100 range were similarly short printed.

Another part of that run of short prints are the Team Leader cards, 1-30.  I shared 3 here with my only complaint being the use of the same photo if a player appears twice - see the Barry Bonds pic on the Giants Team Leader card.  This happens throughout.  I also included 4 Prospect cards, these are found on cards numbered 426 to 460.  Cards 461 to 485 are Banner Season cards, not a huge fan of that design.

The final subset of cards are the Award Winners found on card numbers 417-425. I think this is a great idea for a subset and something Topps should consider.  It is a great way to celebrate and commemorate the best from the previous season.

This purchase didn't only include the base set, I got a decent portion of the Update set as well.

Here is a breakdown of the set along with a picture that shows some of the card types.  Cards 1-200 featured veterans, numbers 201-259 showcased All-Stars, cards 260-275 featured interleague play match up cards and 276-285 are Tale of the Tape cards.  Cards 286-299 feature 2003 Rookies and were short printed to one in four packs.  Cards 300-398 also feature rookies and were issued as part of a 25 card box that was inserted in the hobby boxes.  They are short printed and tougher to come by.  My package got me pretty far along in the set, I need 81 of the 398 cards.  Unfortunately what I need are 2 Tale of the Tape cards and 79 Rookies.  This is one that may never get finished unless I run across someone who cracked a couple of boxes back in the day and has no use for the rookies.  I have a want list on my Set Want List page.

The package also contained a bunch of inserts.  The upper left card is from the Update set and is titled Long Gone.  It is numbered to 475. The middle card is a Black and White Goudey card numbered to 1936.  The final Bonds card is a Milestones insert, Barry has 3 in the set - I had one, I added this one and still need one more.  The Lumber Company Kent card is a pretty nice design.  The Correia is part of the Update set and was the last card I needed for the Giants team set.  Since I am so far away from completing the base set, it was an easy call to pull it.

Another insert are these Barry Bonds puzzle cards.  The other side is a checklist of the set (Derek Jeter also has a 9 card puzzle/checklist).  I was very happy to score the entire Bonds puzzle and it looks nice in a 9-card page.

I also got 3 more cards that fit into my player collections, 2 Reggie inserts and a Ben Petrick base card.  I really like the design of the Turn Back the Clock insert feature Reggie as an Oakland Athletic.

There were also a nice batch of Glossy parallels, all serial numbered to 100.  Unfortunately no Giants but these are for trade.

This is a sampling of all the inserts that were in the package.  I decided to put together an entire list if anyone is interested in trading for any of them - just leave a comment or drop me a note.
Black and White Minis
Mark Prior
Pat Burrell
Frank Thomas
Hideo Nomo
Pedro Martinez
Jeff Bagwell
Drew Henson

Milestones Update
Alfonso Soriano
Randy Johnson
Chipper Jones
Jim Thome
Carlos Delgado

Diamond Debut
Jose Reyes
Jeremy Bonderman
Ryan Wagner
Robby Hammock
Laynce Nix

Stand Ups
Derek Jeter
Miguel Tejada
Greg Maddux

Eddie Mathews
Rickey Henderson
Harmon Killebrew
Al Kaline
Mike Schmidt
Nolan Ryan
Mike Piazza
Randy Johnson X2
Rafael Palmeiro
Juan Gonzalez
Ken Griffey Jr.
Derek Jeter
Roger Clemens
Manny Ramirez
Luis Gonzalez
Nomar Garciaparra
Fred McGriff
Greg Maddux
Barry Bonds X2

Lumber Company
Miguel Tijada X2
Albert Pujols
Chipper Jones
Shawn Green
Bernie Williams
Ken Griffey Jr.
Barry Bonds
Magglio Ordonez

Bunch of Jeter and Bonds Checklist cards

I was happy with this purchase, let me know if you need anything I have listed above.

1 comment:

  1. Great buy, Adam! Although it's not as famous as most vintage Topps designs, I've always liked '63 Fleer. Those "Missing Link" cards are terrific.

    If no one else has claimed them, would you mind putting the Sweeney, Hart, and Simon glossies aside for me? I'd love to send a few things back your way since we haven't traded in a while.