Tuesday, September 21, 2010

1999 Fleer Tradition

My life was not focused on baseball cards for many years after the 1994 strike. Kudos to those who stuck around, but it seems the majority of the stories out there are similar to mine. Fed up with the overproduction and devaluing of cards, along with the fallout ill-will from the strike, caused many collectors to pack up shop and pursue other interests.

One by one, the collecting bug has bitten again and we are lured back into the fold. Upon our reentry into card collecting, we immediately look for the familiar names of our youth. One of those names is Fleer. An adult reentering the collecting world today would be shocked to learn that Fleer is no more. Even more surprising would be the fact that Fleer declared bankruptcy and was bought by Upper Deck. Upper Deck has their own card issues, which we won't get into here.

Smack dab in the middle of this is the 1999 Fleer Tradition set. This is the second year that the flagship Fleer set was morphed into Fleer Tradition. Gone was any set without a secondary tag after the Fleer name. I'm not sure who had this brilliant idea, but looking back on that decision, was it really necessary? Probably not.

This set came out in a period where the majority of Fleer sets looked similar. Oh sure, they were somewhat distinguishable from one another, but looking at any random card resulted in knowing that it was made by Fleer.

The front of the card was glossy with foil stamping. In 1999, I'm sure this was still something somewhat special. Today, it's boring, since nearly every card has some sort of foil embedded in the card. Still, the design is understated, which is usually good. In this case, it's good, even though the design doesn't stand out.

The back of the card is refreshing. A nice photograph greets you on the back, as well as full stats. That is something that was a bit of a rarity during this period. It's nice to see a well designed back.

The White Sox have 18 cards in the set.

34 - Frank Thomas
53 - Mike Caruso
87 - Ray Durham
119 - Magglio Ordonez
150 - Mark Johnson
211 - Craig Wilson
229 - Brian Simmons
240 - Paul Konerko
298 - Jeff Abbott
314 - Jim Abbott
349 - James Baldwin
377 - Chad Bradford
434 - Bobby Howry
441 - Wil Cordero
504 - Greg Norton
526 - Jim Parque
551 - Bill Simas
573 - Mike Sirotka

The only rookie card is Chad Bradford. Paul Konerko has an odd card, showing him with the Cincinnati Reds. It includes the color scheme for the Reds, but lists him on the White Sox. It's a pet peeve of mine to show a player on one team and list him on another. It's an interesting dynamic within the team set though.


Johngy said...

What's up with 2 Jim Abbott cards?

Steve Gierman said...

One card is Jeff Abbott and the other is Jim.

The Chairman of the Board said...

As a kid, I used to collect a ton of cards...specifically as a White Sox fan, I used to have about every card from 88 to 94. But after the strike I got rid of them all. Now I am seriously regretting it.

Steve Gierman said...

At least with eBay, you can get team sets from that era mostly on the cheap.

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