Feb 5, 2009

The Battle For 1987 Cardboard Supremacy: Fleer!

It's a close race going into the last pack. Topps came out strong with 49 points and Donruss followed that up with a very impressive 56, but my anger at not getting a Rated Rookie forced me to deduct 8 points and put them 1 behind Topps. Hopefully Fleer can outdo them both and put an end to the madness. So where do we start? With the stickers of course.

I love the fact that the rack pack provides you with 3 stickers. Topps offers no bonus materials and while the Donruss puzzle pieces are decent when you have them all, on their own they offer no excitement. While the A's and Cardinals stickers are nice and I much prefer the solo stickers over the dual sticker, the Pads/Yanks sticker set is at least quite prophetic. Who would have guessed that 11 years down the line these two teams would face off in one of the worst Fall Classics I can remember? Fleer, that's who.
Points scored: +3 for cool addition to the cards, +2 for predicting the 1998 WS, -1 for that WS sucking. Total = 4 points.

Let's start off with the insert.
Card No. 4 of 6 of the Fleer Headliners Subset. Not sure what the point of this card was and why they only produced 6 headliners, but an additional Rickey card is always a good thing. The design is horrible and I don't get what any of this has to do with headlines or headliners, but that's the '80s for you.
Points scored: +5 for newly inducted Hall of Famer, +2 for insert, -2 for making no sense. Total = 5 points.

Major League Prospects: Dave Clark and Greg Swindell.
These three rack packs would have been an Indian fans dream and perhaps the death of my favorite Reds fan, BRNW. I had the Andy Allanson rookie cup, the Brook Jacoby Diamond King and now the Clark/Swindell Prospects card. Swindell had the one big 18 win season and then did everything in his power to become a .500 pitcher, ending his career at 123 wins and 122 losses.
Points scored: +2 for the excitement of prospects, -1 for the failure of prospects. Total = 1 point.

Onto the "stars"
Vincent Van Go. While Vince will be remembered by most for his speed on the basepaths, I'll always remember him for 2 other reasons. 1. The guy lit firecrackers and threw them into a group of fans looking for autographs, injuring a 2 year old. 2. He didn't freaking know who Jackie Robinson was!!
Fleer may have been dealt a death blow, this will be tough to recover from.
Points scored: +3 for being a star at the time, -5 for injuring 2 year olds, -5 for not knowing who one of the most important athletes of all-time was. Total = -7 points.

The man K-Rod destroyed for the saves title: Bobby Thigpen
Can you tell that the stars weren't terribly plentiful in this pack? This card made it for a few reasons. 1. The nerdy pose combined with the old school Sox garb. 2. It's a rookie card of a notable player in baseball history. 3. I'm hoping K-Rod's career mirrors his after the setting of the saves record.
So that last one is kinda mean-spirited, but oh well. It's amazing to think that he set the saves record in 1990 and by 1993 he was essentially out of the game, with one save that season and none in 1994.
Points scored: +3 for being historically significant at his position, -1 for reminding me that my team has no proven closer now. Total = 2 points.

Bobby Bo.
A pretty good rookie card, despite Bonilla having cards in 1986 update sets with the White Sox. Bobby Bo was one of those guys who made the mistake of jumping to New York for the money and just not handling it well. It's a fate I in no way wish upon K-Rod and Mark Teixeira...yeah right. Bonilla bounced around a ton in his later career, but I still remember his fondly as a productive hitter, an eventual World Champion and part of one of the weirdest trades ever for Mike Piazza.
Points scored: +3 for being a legitimate star, +2 for the yellow Pirates helmet. Total = 5 points.

The Halos.
A Superstar Specials card with 300 game winners Don Sutton and Phil Neikro...yup another Indian. Although Sutton wasn't an Angel for very long, it's always kinda cool to have players reach milestones while wearing your team's uni.
Points scored: +5 for Halo sweetness, +2 for being a horizontal Fleer card. Total = 7 points.

Rupert might be the poster child for the "Guys Who Made the All-Star Team Because They Were on Bad Teams With No Real All-Stars". Rupert pulled this feat off twice, once with Seattle in '77 and once with San Diego in '82.
Points scored: +5 for Halo sweetness, -1 for All-Star legitimacy questions. Total = 4 points.

The Halos just keep on comin'. The cool part about the 1987 cards featuring Angels is that you realize they were part of a pennant winner in 1986. The bad part is that you start thinking about Donnie Moore and it all comes crashing down. I don't know many Angel fans who really liked Jack Howell, he always seemed to have more potential than production.
Points scored: +5 for Halo sweetness, -1 for lack of kick assness. Total = 4 points.

Much like the Jack Howell card, this photo is an uninspired shot taken during batting practice, the difference in that Hendrick is sorta the anti-Howell. Whereas Howell looks meek and confused on his card, Hendrick looks like he would kick your ass for making fun of him on your stupid blog.
Points scored: +5 for Halo sweetness, +2 because George Hendrick at 59 would still probably lay a whooping on me. Total = 7 points.

Yup, one last Angel.
Downing is one of the most beloved Halos in franchise history. He was the Incredible Hulk in wire rim glasses. I always remember wondering how this nerdy guy got to be so huge.
Points scored: +5 for Halo sweetness, +3 for being an all-time Angel great. Total = 8 points.

From the sublime, to the ridiculous.
While Brian Downing made the wire rim glasses cool, well at least as cool as the wire rim glasses can be, Vance did nothing to further their reputation.
Points scored: +2 for retro nerd factor. Total = 2 points.

Pirate hat oddity.
Another example of everything that was wrong with these hats. Bielecki attempts to wear the hat high on his head, which only extends it higher into the sky and makes it more prominent and just not right.
Points scored: +4 for Pirate hat oddity, -2 for trying to improve on the look by perching it atop your dome. Total = 2 points.

Soak it in. The glasses have been well discussed by Night Owl in one of the coolest posts I've read. An added bonus for this card is the look of confusion on the face of Tekulve. Probably trying to figure out just how cool he actually is.
Points scored: +5 for Tekulve, +2 for the contemplative Tekulve. Total = 7 points.

And the jewel of it all.
Easily my favorite 1987 Fleer card. I was stoked to pull this card from the rack pack. For the most part, I really like the blue borders on these cards, but it doesn't look better on any card than it does on this one. The combination of the two blues on the uniform and hat, the smile from Bo, it all just comes together. Of the 1987 Bo's this just edges out the Topps card as my favorite. Worth the price of all 3 rack packs, easily. Of course all 3 cost a combined 2 dollars, so that's not saying much.
Points scored: +5 for iconic card status, +5 for Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson amazingness. Total = 10 points.

An iconic card and a plethora of Halos has pushed Fleer over the top with 61 points. The official results will come in soon, but it does appear that Fleer has come out on top in this hotly contested matchup.

Go Halos!

1 comment:

  1. I think there was a time when that Bo card was over 10 bucks.