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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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Look out for ’85 Fleer


This is another post inspired by a Twitter prompt. I guess I can never delete Twitter from my phone – as I’m often threatened to do – because it’s pretty clear that half my blog ideas come from there now. I do not know what that says about me.

But anyway, the Twitter account Wax Pack Gods shot out a general question the other day, one of those things that always gets a response: what’s your favorite Fleer design from the 1980s?

I could have sworn I ranked those sets ages ago on the blog, but the best I could come up with is this (probably should update that one).

So I guess I have not done it before. And I sure do not feel like doing it now.

The short version is 1984 Fleer is my favorite of those ’80s Fleer designs. It was back in 2010, it is now, it’s always been – except between 1981 and 1983, of course.

But there is another ’80s Fleer set that’s been creeping upward over the years, particularly the last few, probably because I’m collecting it now but also because I can not believe I missed everything that was great about the look.

1985 Fleer.

In the past, I’ve dismissed it as another one of Fleer’s gray-border sets of the ’80s, and I’ve never been crazy about gray-border sets. I did not collect the set in ’85 as I was in my “just-buy-the-whole-Topps-set-at-once” phase. So I missed the thrill.

The color borders in The Man In the Gray Flannel Suit set are everything, and also everything I want in a card set every year: some color, preferably color that matches the team portrayed.

The Tony Gwynn card arrived at the nest the other day from The Chronicles Of Fuji. Understandable that he had a spare. Quite generous that he sent it to me.

It’s the one card that I figured I’d have the most trouble acquiring in finishing the 1985 Fleer set, which is still 60 or so cards away from completion. But now I do not have to shell out 10 bucks or whatever for the Gwynn card and I get to admire up close how the gold border matches so well with Gwynn’s gear.

Fuji added a few other cards that fit into my collection:

A shiny Bowman insert from a few years ago. I think we can dial it down on the Piazza retro appreciation. I have now surpassed 600 cards of Piazza by merely declaring myself a Dodgers fan.

An unmistakable early ’90s Sports Illustrated For Kids card of the best Buffalo Bills quarterback. The back asks you what team beat the Bills in Super Bowl XXV. I think that’s a terribly rude question on the back of Kelly’s own card.

Wooo! The one Dodger in Flair’s bizarre Wave Of The Future insert set in 1998! I received another one from Baseball Card Breakdown a few years ago and I’ve been freaking out about it leaking all over the other cards ever since. Now I’m going to have to sequester Oily Konerko here. Fun stuff.

Finally, I had to look this one up. It’s an unlicensed set from Agfa Film released in 1990. Featuring baseball legends, the cards were issued in three-card packs with a purchase of Agfa film (remember purchasing film?). This is the only Dodger in the 22-card set.

I think I might like this card even more than the Gwynn.

I suppose I should rank the ’80s Fleer sets anyway since I probably got a couple readers excited that I was going to do that. Here you go:

1984

1985

3. 1983

1982 (border colors you know)

1981

1987

1988

8. 1986

9. 1989

Do not take it too seriously. There’s not a lot of rational to why I ranked them like that, personal preference mostly.

The important thing is I need to get cracking on finishing the 1985 and 1986 sets, so I can tackle ’87 and be done with all of the Fleer’s from the ’80s!

Then I can really do some stupid stuff. Like complete Donruss sets from the ’80s.





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