Topps recently partnered with Sports Illustrated to publish an exclusive online set featuring previous magazine covers. The first two tickets, Mike Trout and Duke Snider, together sold 22,322 tickets last week. This immediately reminded me of the late 1990s when Fleer teamed up with SI and launched a total of six products with two brands.
The 1997 debut publication, Fleer Sports Illustrated, contained photographs from the magazine’s archives. In addition to the original cards, the set contained a total of 24 cover cards, 12 as part of the basic set and a further 12 in the Cooperstown Collection insert set.
In 1998 three different sets were released with two brands: Fleer SI, SI Then and Now, and SI World Series Fever. Another 42 title cards were distributed between these three publications.
1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated Baseball has a 180-card basic set and four insert sets. Surprisingly, only one title card made the entire set – one showing the Yankees celebrating their 1998 World Cup.
When it first came out, the product was priced at around $ 2 per pack.
1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated Baseball Box Break
Cards per pack: 6th
Packs per box: 24
Price paid: $ 20
Buy 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated Baseball Boxes on eBay.
Pack 1 highlights:
John Smoltz, Andres Galarraga, Sammy Sosa / Juan Gonzalez, Chris Hoiles, Clemens / Cone / Glavine / Helling and Vladimir Guerrero headliners (1: 4 packs)
Robin Ventura, Eric Chavez / Blake Stein / Mike Neill, David Justice and Yankees World Series Champions
Tony Womack / Rickey Henderson, Moises Alou (great shot), Barry Bonds, Fred McGriff and Fernando Seguignol (1:12 packs)
Kerry Wood, Derek Jeter, David Cone, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, and John Olerud
Roy Halladay / Tom Evans / Kevin Witt, Jose Canseco and Roberto Alomar. Canseco began touring the AL East in 1995. Between 1995 and 2000, Canseco played for the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Devil Rays and Yankees.
Tim Salmon, Roger Clemens, Mike Lowell, Jay Tessmer, Ryan Bradley and Sammy Sosa headliners (1: 4 packs). I never get used to seeing Mike Lowell in a Yankees uniform.
Carlos Delgado, Scott Rolen, Tom Glavine, Jim Edmonds and Mike Mussina. Rolen and Edmonds each won eight gold gloves in their careers, while Mussina earned seven.
Jim Thome, Andruw Jones, Tino Martinez, Jamie Moyer and Rafael Palmeiro
Ivan Rodriguez, Frank Thomas, Dante Bichette and Bret Saberhagen. Saberhagen has put together a very good career, including two AL Cy Young Awards in the 1980s. During his 1989 Cy Young winning season, he led the American League in wins (23), ERA (2.16), full games (12) and innings (262.1).
Ken Griffey Jr., Jeff Kent, Jason Giambi and Mo Vaughn Headliners (1: 4 packs)
Todd Helton, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Mo Vaughn and Barry Larkin
Cal Ripken Jr., Will Clark and Aramis Ramirez / Sean Lawrence / Abraham Nunez
Mike Piazza, Matt Williams and Ivan Rodriguez headliners (1: 4 packs). Piazza and Rodriguez together made 26 all-star appearances and won 17 Silver Slugger Awards behind the court. They would also win 13 gold gloves, although Rodriguez did not get any help from Piazza here.
Cal Ripken, Jr. & Rafael Palmeiro Fabulous 40’s (1:20 pack)
Barry Bonds, Kerry Wood and Trevor Hoffman / Tom Gordon
Craig Biggio, Kevin Brown and David “Boomer” Wells. As shown here, Wells put on a perfect game on May 17, 1998. Wells knocked out eleven twins.
Manny Ramirez & Nomar Garciaparra Headliners (1: 4 packs)
Vladimir Guerrero and JD Drew / Placido Polanco / Mark Little
Omar Vizquel, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire and Alex Rodriguez
Sammy Sosa, Greg Vaughn, Greg Maddux / Roger Clemens and Tom Glavine / Roger Clemens. Clemens absolutely dominated north of the border in his time. Clemens played the 1997 and 1998 seasons in Toronto and won two Cy Young Awards with an overall record of 41-13, 2.33 ERA and 563 strikeouts.
Alex Rodriguez, Trevor Hoffman, Ken Griffey, Jr./Mark McGwire, Greg Maddux and Maddux headliners (1: 4 packs)
Rondell White & Scott Brosius
A great shot by Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa / Juan Gonzalez, Vinny Castilla, Roger Clemens and Marlon Anderson (1:12 packs). Although not shown in this box, the Ones to Watch Insert Set included some young players who got into big things. JD Drew, Roy Halladay, and Todd Helton are all part of the 15-card stake.
Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa / Juan Gonzalez and Sammy Sosa
Finally the Randy Johnson card back. Pretty easy, with bio info and full career stats.
That 1999 release was the end of the road for the brand, and it felt like that to me. The 1997 and 1998 releases each featured six autograph subjects, including many Hall of Fame players. The main set from 1999? Only a single JD Drew autograph with 250 copies (The game’s separate SI sizes from 1999 have lots of ink, however). Also gone were the numbered parallel cards that appeared in the first two publications. If that weren’t enough, the cover cards, along with the individual Yankees team cover card, basically disappeared as well.
I really enjoyed the first couple of releases, but this one just didn’t do it for me. Fortunately, boxes can still be found for under $ 30.
Buy 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated Baseball on:
Want more rates on Shane Salmonson’s cheap wax Wednesday? Check out his other breaks in the archives.
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