1988 Fleer Baseball consists of a single series of 660 cards. The cards have a white background with red and white stripes, similar to the stripes on Topps’ flagship 2021 release.
The set also includes two inserts, all-stars and headliners. However, headliner inserts are only available for rack packs. The 1988 set includes a handful of notable rookie cards, including Hall of Famers Tom Glavine and Edgar Martinez.
Fleer had already appeared on the baseball card scene in 1959. Except for one, Ted Williams, almost every great Leaguer by the time had signed an exclusive contract. Fleer signed a card deal with Williams and released Fleer Ted Williams’ 80 card set, which chronicles his career and interests outside the field. Fleer went further past Topps’ exclusive player contracts in the 1960s with two more releases that featured mostly former players. Fleer’s 1963 release included current players and was contested by Topps, which resulted in the set being limited to just one series. Fleer wouldn’t get back into the baseball card business until the 1980s.
1988 Fleer Baseball Box Break
Cards per pack: 15 + 1 stickers
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $ 5
Buy 1988 Fleer Baseball Boxes on eBay.
The boxes also come with four box bottom cards. There were four different panels to collect.
Pack 1 highlights:
Darryl Strawberry, Rickey Henderson, Steve Carlton, Dave Parker and Brewers / Mets stickers. Forgive me for forgetting Carlton’s 13 games for the Minnesota Twins. The Hall of Fame left-hander did not do well with the team, going 1-6 with an ERA of 8.54.
1991 NL MVP Terry Pendleton, Rafael Palmeiro, Eric Davis All-Stars & Expos Stickers
John Kruk, Andres “Big Cat” Galarraga, Jimmy Key, Tony Gwynn / Vince Coleman and Padres / Red Sox stickers
Stickers Fernandez / Ripken / Trammell, Keith Hernandez / Dale Murphy, Julio Franco & Cubs
The Ripken Brothers, Chuck Finley, Bill Buckner & Tigers / Yankees Stickers. Buckner is unfortunately known for his mistake in the 1986 World Series. However, he has had a really solid career, collecting 2,715 hits and winning the 1980 NL Beat title.
Wally Joyner, Tom Henke, Ellis Burks RC & Braves Stickers
Tony Phillips, Dale Murphy & Twins / Pirate Stickers
Dave Winfield, Lenny “Nails” Dykstra, John Franco & Mets stickers. Franco ranks third all-time in pitching appearances. With his 1,119 games, he is four games ahead of Mariano Rivera.
Jay Bell RC, Harold Baines & Expos / Orioles stickers
Don Sutton, Mike Schmidt, George Bell / Pedro Guerrero, Andre Dawson All-Stars & Twins Stickers
Lance Johnson & Padres sticker
Ken Dayley (What’s Going On Here?), Tony Gwynn / Tim Raines, Alan Trammell All-Stars & Astros / Mariners Stickers
Paul Molitor, Bob Melvin & Cardinals Stickers. Four-time manager of the year Bob Melvin is a much better call game than he was a major league catcher. Melvin had an OBP of 0.268 over a 10 year career as a catcher.
John Franco / Steve Bedrosian (Steve’s son Cam currently plays for the Reds), Brett Butler, Ron “Gator” Guidry, Howard Johnson & Royals / Giants stickers
Pat Tabler / Mark McGwire, Shawon Dunston, Carlton Fisk and Astros stickers
Cecil Fielder, Bob Boone & Pirates / Blue Jays Stickers. After four seasons in Toronto, Fielder played the 1989 season in Japan. Cecil scored 38 home runs in 106 games for the Hanshin Tigers. He returned to major leagues in 1990 and scored 51 home races for the Detroit Tigers.
Tony Fernandez, Ryne Sandberg, Matt Williams RC & Pirate Stickers
Dave Righetti, Dwight Gooden & Indians / Reds stickers
Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez RC, Robin Yount, Eric Davis, Jack McDowell RC, Ken Caminiti RC, Mark McGwire and Rangers / Phillies stickers. What a pack! Nobody could have been disappointed with this one which had three of the best RCs in the product.
Mark Langston, Don Baylor & Yankees Stickers
Fred Lynn (I still can’t stand to see him in an Orioles uniform), Ken Griffey, Greg Maddux, Greenwell / Burks / Benziger, Jim Rice & Cubs / A’s stickers. Rice finished his career in the Hall of Fame through 1988. He would only play 56 games in 1989 before hanging his spikes. He won the AL MVP in 1978 and led the league in played games, record appearances, bats, hits, triples, home runs, RBI, slugging, OPS and total bases.
Bobby Bonilla, Tim Raines, Bret Saberhagen & Brewers stickers
Jamie Moyer, George Bell & Brewers / Mets Stickers
Gary Carter, Jose Canseco & Padres Stickers
Kirby Puckett, Ozzie Smith / Ryne Sandberg, Roger Clemens, Jack Clark All-Stars & Astros / Mariners Stickers
Dennis Eckersley, David Cone, Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn and Cardinals stickers. Eckersley started 361 games in the first half of his career. Eck switched to the Bullpen in the second half of his career and saved 390 games, good enough for seventh place on the all-time list.
Mike “Gator” Greenwell (our second Gator), Darryl Strawberry / Eric Davis & Royals / Giants stickers
Dwight “Dewey” Evans, Tony Pena, Gregg Jefferies & Braves Stickers
Bo Jackson, Lou Whitaker, Dave Stewart and Twins / Pirate Stickers
Don Mattingly, Kevin Mitchell & Mets Stickers
Billy Ripken (with a more family-friendly bat button than 1989) & Expos / Orioles stickers
Bert Blyleven, Reggie Jackson, Juan Samuel All-Stars & Twins Stickers
Eddie Murray, Kirk Gibson, Tom Glavine RC, Andre Dawson, Mike Schmidt / Gary Carter, Barry Larkin, Joe Carter and Rangers / Phillies stickers
Mark Grace / Darrin Jackson RC, Keith Hernandez & Yankees Stickers. Mark Grace had a sweet left-handed swing. While not posing a major threat to power, Grace finished his 16-year career in the major league with 2,445 hits and a base percentage of 0.383. He also made nearly $ 46 million. Not bad.
Saberhagen / Witt / Morris, Willie McGee & Cubs / A’s sticker
George Brett & Brewers sticker. George, are you sure the bat doesn’t have too much pine tar?
Finally the George Brett card back. Fleer chose to show a couple of sideline lines in addition to Brett’s full career in the major league up to this point. It’s safe to say that Brett saved his best baseball for the majors as his minor division numbers weren’t very impressive.
For those keeping track of things at home, I drew 36 cards with Hall of Fame players. Not a duplicate either! That’s a solid compilation. I was also lucky enough to draw all but one of the notable rookie cards. The only name I missed on this one was the Ron Gant RC.
While you probably won’t find a box for the LCS clearance price I quoted, these are still very affordable on eBay. These can be shipped for $ 30 or less. Given the number of HOFers and the two Hall of Fame rookie cards that can be drawn, I say this is worth the price.
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Want more rates on Shane Salmonson’s cheap wax Wednesday? Check out his other breaks in the archives.
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