Saturday, May 26, 2012

1981 Fleer Star Stickers

Are you looking for a cool oddball set to collect? Then look no further, because in a few minutes I'll be showing off a pack of one of my favorites: 1981 Fleer Star Stickers.

But before I crack open the pack. Let's look at the set specifications. Fleer produced 128 cards (125 players + 3 checklists) and distributed them in wax boxes that contained 36 packs.

Each pack had a suggested retail price of 25¢ and contained 5 stickers & a stick of gum. I purchased four boxes of this product a few years ago in hopes of building hand collated sets. Unfortunately, "gum" damage and poor collation forced me to stop halfway through the first box.

As the product's name suggests... Fleer filled the sticker checklist with some of the league's brightest stars: Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, and Reggie Jackson.

Let's go ahead and find out how I fared:

First card... #52 Jack Clark

Clark was a four time MLB All-Star and two time Silver Slugger Award winner. In 1980, he won the inaugural Willie Mac Award given to the San Francisco Giant who demonstrates great leadership as voted by his peers and coaches.

Second card... #68 Bill Russell

Russell spent his entire eighteen year career playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a three time MLB All-Star, two time World Series Champion, and has played more games as a LA Dodger than anyone else.

Third card... #55 Roy Smalley

Smalley was the first overall pick in the 1974 amateur draft. His best season was in 1979 when he hit .271, 24 home runs, and was the American League starting shortstop in the All-Star game.

Fourth card... #54 Rickey Henderson

I could write a few paragraphs on Rickey's accomplishments, but my guess is you already know who he is and what he's done for the game of baseball.

Fifth card... #69 Larry Parrish

Larry is one of two players (Jim Northrup was the other) in MLB history to hit 3 grand slams in one week. Did anyone else think that Larry & Lance were brothers?

And for those who are interested... here's a brief breakdown of the similarities & differences between this set and the regular issue 1981 Fleer baseball card set:

Although the designs are completely different on the front, the card backs are identical with the exception of ink color. Fleer used blue ink for the Star Stickers and yellow for the regular issue set.

Fleer also decided to use the same photos for some players and different photos for others. But obviously the biggest difference is the fact that one is a set of cardboard, while the other is a set of stickers. So, the question is... Which one do you prefer?

Have a safe, holiday weekend!


night owl said...

Now that's an awesome PTBNL post.

I bought a lot of cards at stores in 1981 and never saw the Fleer sticker set sold.

In fact, I'll trade you for the Bill Russell sticker.

Captain Canuck said...

I bought a box of these awhile ago... only need one card for my set. The Reggie Jackson no numbered checklist.

Got lots of dupes though.

Cory said...

I imagine that with the stock of the stickers being a bit higher grade than any of the '81 flagship offerings that the pictures are a little more sharp and colorful.

Are they?

Or did I get my hopes up?

Matt Runyon said...

I need to collect this set sometime. The packs were available in Phoenix in 1981, but there was so much other stuff out there that I didn't buy very many of these.

Commishbob said...

The '81 Fleer Stickers beat the '81 Fller card set like a rented mule. I never bought the packs but I got the Orioles from my local shops. As usual I probably bout 10 of each.

Matt Flaten said...

I enjoy that the pack is designed with a real Star Wars logo feel.

Fuji said...

night owl - the Russell is yours... email your address and I'll ship it out this week.

captain - I'll check to see if I have a Reggie checklist from the packs I busted. If I do, it's yours.

cory - These stickers have issues of their own. Out of the box I started opening, most of the cards were poorly centered and had gum damage. In fact this pack was one of the best in the bunch. As for the photos, they're still pretty grainy.

Matthew - I don't remember seeing these in my area until a few years down the road. My local pharmacy mainly had 1981 Donruss stocked.

Commishbob - I agree... although I do like the regular base set too. It's the first set my parents ever purchased me.

Matt F - Didn't catch that until you pointed it out. But I see what you're talking about.

Unknown said...

I have a box of these and I have not looked through them yet.

Fuji said...

Frank Franks - I started opening one of the four boxes I have, but stopped halfway through the box. The collation was pretty poor and the cards had "gum" damage.

My box could be an exception to the rule, but just be careful if you decided to bust your box.